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Published: 2005-07-04 00:00:00

Envirowaste Services officially opened its controversial new landfill at Hampton Downs last week.

The first rubbish will be taken to the landfill this week. The landfill, called North Waikato Regional Landfill, is authorised to receive up to 30,000,000 cubic metres of refuse over the next 25 years. Environment Waikato Resource Use Group Manager Chris McLay said the opening was an important milestone in the landfill’s development.

“It is the culmination of much hard work on the part of everyone involved. Our role was to ensure compliance with road works and earthworks consents, and ensure that the landfill was constructed according to consent conditions and good practice in New Zealand. It also had to ensure that all the necessary approvals needed by Envirowaste Services were signed off.”

Environment Waikato has just completed a consent compliance audit for the site, which recorded a high level of compliance.

He said gaining consents was protracted, and was done as a joint process with the Waikato District Council. The application was received in March 1999 and publicly notified in April. It attracted 299 submissions on the Regional Council applications, and 321 submissions on the Waikato District Council land use consent, most of them opposed to the landfill.

After a 12 day hearing in October 1999, the joint Hearing Committee granted the consents, subject to conditions. The decision was appealed by four submitters, and an Environment Court Appeal Hearing took 79 days, between September 2000 and June 2001.

The Court’s decision in October 2001 dismissed all appeals and granted the consents.