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Published: 2010-09-09 00:00:00

Hamilton City Council (HCC) has been granted new 15-year consents to operate the Hamilton Organic Centre in Wickham Street, subject to new conditions designed to control odour.

An Environment Waikato hearings committee made the decision after hearing evidence from the applicant, submitters and EW staff.

The centre turns "green waste" - including lawn clippings, weeds and trees - into compost and is seen as having strategic importance as it provides an accessible way for Hamiltonians to recycle green waste and divert it from landfills.

The site has historically been the subject of complaints about odour from the operation. The committee’s report noted a range of concerns about odour, including complaints from a nearby demolition recycling yard that customers had sometimes left because they couldn’t cope with smells from the centre.

However, a new operator HG Leach & Company Ltd has taken over the operation of the centre on behalf of Hamilton City Council. The company has undertaken a significant clean up of the site and has introduced new management and monitoring procedures for handling and processing the green waste.

An EW staff member told the committee that, subject to new consent conditions, he had confidence that odour can now be properly controlled such that objectionable odour is avoided in future. The committee accepted this evidence.

The committee’s report said: "There have been significant improvements with regards the Hamilton Organic Centre operation and that there has been an improved attitude and a desire by HG Leach and Hamilton City Council to resolve the site’s issues."

The consents replace existing consents held by HCC.