The Council’s draft Zero Waste Strategy, for which public feedback is now being considered, provides a framework for many initiatives that will help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, and further reducing emissions.
One focus for the draft strategy is diverting food waste from landfill – food waste accounts for 409,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in New Zealand annually.
Manager of Council’s Climate Change Response team Alison Howard says landfills are responsible for about half of the Council’s emissions.
“Reducing those emissions is a huge step in the right direction. Through Te Atakura – First to Zero, we have the blueprint that will keep us on track as we work towards our net zero carbon goals.”
Manager of Waste Operations Stefan Borowy says this year the Council will continue to improve the generator and install a more efficient flare, which will further improve the destruction of methane gas.
“We are already seeing more gas being extracted from the landfill. Daily gas flows went from 7,600m3 in 2021 to 12,000m3 in 2022, and the Council and contractors are looking at the potential to use heavy machinery at the landfill powered by electricity generated from landfill gas.”
In other landfill news – Council officers today lodged resource consent with the Greater Wellington Regional Council to extend the Southern Landfill, by constructing a new landfill on top of an old one.
The current landfill’s resource consents are due to expire in 2026, the same time the landfill is expected to be full, so a solution for the city’s waste that can’t be recycled, re-used or composted (residual waste), is needed by then.
The resource consent will be publicly notified by the regional council in due course.
A decision on the application is expected within 12 months. The new landfill is expected to be operational by mid-2026, and the Council’s priority is waste minimisation, which may prolong the landfill’s life or allow it to close early.