The future of the Southern Landfill

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Update on the proposed Landfill extension - Level 3



COVID-19 alert Level 3 means much the same for us as the Level 4 lockdown did.

Rubbish collection is ongoing, and the Landfill is open to commercial account holders but closed to everyone else. Kerbside recycling continues to be stopped under Level 3, but you can find some good tips on how to reduce your waste here.

Like many of you, most of our team is continuing to juggle working from home with our other family responsibilities.

We are continuing with our Landfill extension plans remotely, although some investigation work is temporarily on hold, as site visits are required.

At this stage we’re anticipating lodging resource consents mid-year, but this does depend on how long the current restrictions are in place.

We will continue to give you updates and, in the meantime, if you’re got any questions please feel free to get in touch by email Landfill@wcc.govt.nz

Update on the proposed Landfill extension - Level 3



COVID-19 alert Level 3 means much the same for us as the Level 4 lockdown did.

Rubbish collection is ongoing, and the Landfill is open to commercial account holders but closed to everyone else. Kerbside recycling continues to be stopped under Level 3, but you can find some good tips on how to reduce your waste here.

Like many of you, most of our team is continuing to juggle working from home with our other family responsibilities.

We are continuing with our Landfill extension plans remotely, although some investigation work is temporarily on hold, as site visits are required.

At this stage we’re anticipating lodging resource consents mid-year, but this does depend on how long the current restrictions are in place.

We will continue to give you updates and, in the meantime, if you’re got any questions please feel free to get in touch by email Landfill@wcc.govt.nz

Category Alternatives to landfill   Show all

  • Looking at alternatives to landfilling

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    10 months ago

    With room for our rubbish running out we think extending the Landfill is the best way forward to manage our waste, but we are testing this assumption by looking at what alternatives are around.

    We’ve had some lively debates with the community around these different technologies so though it might be handy to summarise them here for you.

    The relatively small size of Wellington and our typography gives us particular challenges when looking into these alternatives. Click here for more information on all alternatives

    Conventional (mass burn) incineration Click for further information

    This option, which processes waste in a modern incinerator, has provoked quite a bit of discussion during our conversations.

    The incinerators typically burn 250,000 tonnes or more of waste per year, and generate energy for heat or power. The Southern Landfill currently only receives about 75,000 of suitable waste per year which could create challenges with a higher relative cost of managing emissions and running the plant.

    Issues and costs relate to the amount of waste required possibly impacting waste minimisation measures, the disposal of residual ash, managing emissions, and the disposal of unsuitable materials.

    There are no current examples in New Zealand although a plant has been proposed for Hokitika. These methods are common in Asia, Europe, the UK and North America – all using large-scale incinerators.

    Advanced thermal treatment Click for further information

    This covers a range of technologies including pyrolysis and gasification to achieve thermal conversion of organic materials. Depending on conditions useable outputs include energy, Syngas, Tar/Oil for further refining and others.

    Issues and costs relate to pre-sorting the waste, disposal of ash residue, managing emissions and the disposal of unsuitable materials.

    There are no examples in New Zealand although trials have been completed for single waste streams (e.g. waste timber) but not general waste. These methods are used in the rest of the world but mostly for specific waste streams (e.g. tyres or wood waste).

    Mechanical heat treatment Click for further information

    Mechanical heat treatment combines mechanical sorting and heat treatment technologies to maximise the recovery of recyclable, usable material from general waste and processing the remaining waste.

    Issues and costs relate to pre-sorting the waste, removal and disposal of recyclable, usable material, costs of disposing of unsuitable materials, and disposing of the output including low quality recyclable material, and stabilised organic material.

    There are no examples in operation in New Zealand. There are examples in Australia but the final product is currently landfilled due to environmental regulations in some states. This method is also used in the United Kingdom.

    Mechanical biological treatment Click for further information

    Mechanical biological treatment is a generic term for an integrated system comprising several mechanical and biological processes which might include removal of recyclable materials, biological reduction of the biodegradable portion using anaerobic digestion and/or aerobic composting.

    Issues and costs relate to a material recovery facility to remove unsuitable materials and their disposal, costs of disposing of the output including low quality recyclable material, and stabilised organic material.

    There are no examples in operation in New Zealand. These methods are used in Australia New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, but in some states the final product is landfilled due to environmental regulations. There are many examples elsewhere in the world – in particular in Europe.

    Click here for more information on all these alternatives.


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  • Options for the future of waste management

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    10 months ago

    The current stage of the Southern Landfill has only 4 years capacity remaining so we are looking into a range of alternatives.

    We will be checking the alternatives against a set of values, including costs, environmental impacts, track records in similar locations to Wellington and the time required from decision to getting the technology fully up and running. Click here to find out more about the values we will be using.

    Click here to read more detailed information about the alternatives.

    · Closure of the existing Southern Landfill and transfer station, with waste being sent directly to other landfills

    · Closure of the existing Southern Landfill and continued operation of the Southern Landfill transfer station, with waste transported to another landfill

    · Extension of the existing Southern Landfill into the next stage

    · Conventional (mass burn) incineration, including any pre-sorting required to make this option viable

    · Advanced thermal treatment (gasification, pyrolysis), including any pre-sorting required to make this option viable

    · Mechanical heat treatment combining mechanical sorting and heat treatment technologies to maximise recycling and reuse from general waste and processing the remainder

    · Mechanical biological treatment an integrated system of several mechanical and biological processes run alongside a materials recovery facility to remove unsuitable materials



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