Southern Landfill opens to public at Level 2 – with precautions in place

12 May 2020

As the Southern Landfill gears up to open to the public at COVID-19 Alert Level 2, precautions are being put in place as safety and separation will remain critical for customers and staff.

Waiting to get weighed at the landfill.
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The Southern Landfill site was open to only essential commercial operators at Level 4 and commercial account holders at Level 3, to reflect the Government’s heightened alert levels, and allow the waste team to concentrate on essential collection services and keeping the landfill fully operational.

Waste Operations Manager Emily Taylor-Hall says at Level 2 vehicle recognition, social distancing measures, and a new way to pay are some of the measures being introduced to ensure public welfare and COVID-19 regulations continue to be met.

“The software on the weighbridge has been upgraded so it has vehicle recognition to enable tracking and tracing, so we have a reliable way of recording people coming into the landfill during this period.

“We’re also installing integrated Eftpos, which means there is no need for a transfer of Eftpos machine or card via the operators to the customers – customers will be able to pay on a machine just outside the weighbridge windows. It’s a way of keeping our weighbridge staff safe as well as our customers.”

Emily says when the landfill reopens to the general public at Alert Level 2, no cash will be accepted (contactless transactions only), and only a certain number of vehicles will be given access into the transfer station at any one time – “just like how things have been working at the supermarkets, one in and one out,” she explains.

Every second tipping bay will remain closed so social distancing protocols can be adhered to. Emily says this will limit the capacity for customers so it’s important that people don’t all rush to the transfer station at once when Alert Level 3 restrictions are lifted.

Mayor Andy Foster knows the Wellington public and a number of businesses will be pleased with this news, but asks for patience. 

“For the Southern Landfill, a decent pre-COVID day would see 850 plus vehicles crossing the weighbridges in and out. That is a lot of transactions and a lot of contacts, which is why during Levels 4 and 3 we’ve only allowed commercial customers with accounts. 

“We expect queues, and will be asking that people delay their visit if possible, and to be patient and kind.  If possible, we recommend that you come to the landfill on the same day that your recycling collection takes place – this will allow us to better manage queues and prevent people being turned away,” adds the Mayor.

At this stage, the Tip Shop and Recycle Centre remain closed until the risk can be managed with additional protocols around social distancing, handwashing and PPE.

Key information:

  • The Southern Landfill opens on Thursday 14 May to the public
  • Green waste can be dropped off
  • Normal hours apply, except on weekends, where the site will close at 3.30pm to allow it to be cleared during expected heavy congestion times
  • Expect delays – we recommend coming on your allocated recycling day to allow for better traffic management, and avoid the weekend
  • Normal fees apply
  • The Tip Shop and Recycle Centre remain closed, so please don’t bring recyclable and reusable items yet
  • More details can found in these FAQs.

See attached FAQs for more information. The Covid-19 section of Council’s website will go live with Alert Level 2 information at 5pm Wednesday 13 May.