This month, we’ve got a great update in the West Coast incinerator story. Last month, we told you about the proposed West Coast waste incinerator that seemed to be moving down the track to becoming a reality. Lo and behold, the application to store waste in Reefton for possible burning in the proposed plant has been withdrawn!
Renew Energy Ltd had applied for resource consent for a ‘temporary’ storage site on a 2ha former Solid Energy site on the terrace behind the Reefton railway yard. It had proposed railing 240 bales of waste into Reefton every day, five days a week, stacked up to 12.5m high – or five stories.
If the Westport waste to energy plant failed to proceed, the 66,000 tonnes a year of baled rubbish could have been dumped in landfills at Greymouth or Hokitika.
Reefton residents rallied against the proposal. The business group Reefton Inc employed a queen’s counsel, 253 people attended a protest meeting a few weeks ago, and 500 signed a petition.
Reefton is now celebrating! They have done a great job mobilising their community. This incinerator is a regressive proposal based on waste industry propaganda that will undermine the goal of Zero Waste for Aotearoa. No resource consent has been lodged for the primary incinerator site, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation in coming days.