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Published: 2008-04-15 00:00:00

An Environment Waikato hearing committee has approved resource consents for a new tyre disposal facility in Pukemiro, north-west of Ngaruawahia.

Enviro Landfill Trust applied to Environment Waikato and Waikato District Council last year for resource consents to incorporate the new facility into its existing construction and demolition waste landfill site at Pukemiro.

The applications were heard at a joint hearing at Ngaruawahia on March 19, with no submitters attending.

The resource consent applications heard by Environment Waikato’s hearing committee related to the “broadening” of some existing resource consents to accommodate tyre disposal at the site.

The consents related to earthworks and vegetation removal, the diversion of water courses and the discharge of water, air, dust, leachate and waste.

Environment Waikato’s committee heard the trust had been improving the landfill site since buying it in 2005.

The trust plans to build 32 clay-lined bunkers to hold whole, quartered and chipped (granulated) end-life tyres. Full bunkers will be capped and grassed and leachate diverted into a leachate treatment system and water treatment lake.

In its hearing decision report, the committee commended the trust for the improvements it had already made at the site.

“These works, combined with widespread infrastructure upgrades, have remedied a number of historic problems at the site and have significantly improved its appearance,” the committee said.

“With regard to the tyre disposal operation proposed, the committee considers the site to be ideal for this use given its geology (impermeable fireclay) which will prevent widespread contamination of the surrounding land, distant location from built up areas, and proximity to other ‘industrial’ land uses with similar environmental effects,” the committee said.

“The establishment of a tyre disposal facility on the site will also assist with the ongoing rehabilitation of the site by allowing the site operator to legally dispose of the existing end of life tyres stored on the property.”

After careful consideration of all the evidence, the committee granted the resource consents, finding any adverse effects of the proposal could be adequately avoided, remedied or mitigated.

The consents were granted subject to a range of conditions.

The government is currently considering the Waste Minimisation Bill, which includes provision for ‘producer responsibility’. It is likely that waste tyres will be one of the first wastes to be dealt with under these provisions. With additional funds and a coordinated approach it is expected that beneficial uses will be found for waste tyres in the future.

The information above relates only to the decisions of Environment Waikato’s hearing committee. For information on whether the Waikato District Council consents were approved please contact the district council.