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Operations managed at Horotiu landfill

Hamilton’s Horotiu landfill got a good report at this week’s Environment Waikato Regulatory Committee.

The Committee heard operational problems at the landfill were being actively managed as they arose, and decided monthly reporting could be reduced to whenever staff had concerns about the site.

Resource Officer Barry Campbell said landfilling operations had continued to be generally acceptable in the last month. Odour levels arising from deposited rubbish had been low and fly numbers had also been acceptably low. Burial of special wastes, such as sewage sludge was prompt and gull numbers were low.

One key consent requirement was to keep leachate depth to less than 0.5 metres above the liner to minimise leachate losses to groundwater. After February’s heavy rain leachate levels increased to up to 5 metres and 2.7 metres above consented depths. Hamilton City Council had been extracting leachate as fast as possible, although the rate of extraction remained slow, Mr Campbell said.

In recent months stage 6 posed the highest risk of leachate overflowing in heavy rain, however this risk was now considered low and stormwater had been diverted away from the landfill. Environment Waikato was still getting odour complaints and that would not change until the gas extraction system began in a couple of weeks, he said. Hamilton City council was installing a system to convert the gases produced by the landfill into electricity.

Regulatory Committee chairman Jim Howland said that it was pleasing to see operation and management improvements at the landfill in recent months were being effective and that the Hamilton City Council was keeping the Regional Council informed of progress at the landfill.

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