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Landfill Census Highlights Problems

Landfill management practices across the country need improvement, according to the Ministry for the Environment's 1998/1999 Landfill Census, to be released today by Environment Minister, Marian Hobbs.

"Some good work on the development of new landfills and upgrading of others has been done, but there is still a lot to be done before we can put our hands on our hearts and say, 'we've got this beaten'," Marian Hobbs said.

The Ministry for the Environment is developing a work programme based on the findings of the census with some key projects already under way, she said. The Ministry wants to work with local government in the development and implementation of this programme.

The key projects include the preparation of good practice guides for landfill managers and local authorities and a review of current waste management protocols, which will include a classification system for waste disposal facilities.

The 1998/1999 census is a part of that work and shows a number of landfills are operating without resource consents while many of those that do have consents are breaching their conditions.

"There are also problems with poor management of hazardous waste, open burning,
inadequate consent conditions and inadequate management of closed landfills," Ms Hobbs said.

"But there has been progress in training for people running landfills and some areas have outstanding landfill management systems," she said.

Ms Hobbs said local and central government agencies needed to work together to improve the landfill management situation and Environment Ministry official were talking with Local Government New Zealand on this issue.

The census is being launched by the Minister at 2pm today at the Hutt
City Chamber, with a tour of the Silverstream Landfill to follow. All media are
invited to attend.

ends

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