Zero waste groups celebrate public notification on Te Awamutu incinerator project

Steam bellows from London Waste Eco park, the largest waste management centre in London. Waste materials are incinerated and the energy created is turned into electricity. London. UK (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)


“We are pleased that the Waikato Regional Council has announced that the resource consent application to build a waste incinerator in Te Awamutu will be publicly notified,” said Dorte Wray, Chief Operations Officer of the Zero Waste Network.

“Te Awamutu and the wider community really need to have a say in this project. It could have serious negative consequences for all of us, as well as for the land and water,” said Dale-Maree Morgan, coordinator of the Don’t Burn Waipā campaign, a flaxroots-community organisation formed to oppose the incinerator and push for zero waste solutions.

“Along with voices from across Waikato and the whole country, we have pushed for public notification of this project. Given that the much smaller waste incineration project in Feilding was publicly notified, it only makes sense that this massive project would be publicly notified,” said Dorte Wray 

“Waikato Regional Council is a leading voice for waste minimisation, and within our rohe we are home to some amazing zero waste projects including Xtreme Zero Waste and Para Kore. We already have the solutions to get us to zero waste that build community resilience, create employment and are not toxic polluters. We don’t need or want a waste incinerator here,” said Dale-Maree Morgan.

“This incinerator is worse than a fossil fuel production facility: it would burn household waste, plastic and tyres to create electricity. It is incredibly dirty energy with a carbon footprint higher even than a coal-fired power plant. Emissions include heavy metals, dioxins and furans, the most toxic chemicals known to science,” said Dorte Wray.

“This incinerator would compromise all of the great waste minimisation work being done by iwi, community, business, Waipā District Council and Waikato Regional Council. Our community would be turned into an importer of waste, including up to 3 million tyres, each year. Waipā is the home of champions, Waipā doesn’t want to be the home of every regions waste,” said Dale-Maree Morgan.

The Waipā District Council announced last month that land-use consent portion of the incinerator application would be publicly notified. It is anticipated that the District and Regional Councils would hold joint hearings on the matter. 

The incinerator company has asked for a delay in announcing the public notification. Submissions are required 20 days after public notification occurs.

“We expect that both Councils will have due regard for the upcoming Christmas holiday season. Scheduling the public notification must happen at a time that maximises public involvement, otherwise it is pointless to go through this process,”