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Canterbury mega-dump first of many

The proposed Canterbury mega-dump will be the first of many around New Zealand if the government does nothing to halt businesses dumping waste, the Green Party says.

Green Party Local Government spokesperson Mike Ward said many local authorities had zero-waste strategies but they were being smothered under the burgeoning 'collect it and bury it' industry that the government was doing nothing to control.

"The Canterbury mega-landfill is the latest symptom of an absence of regulation for making manufacturers take responsibility for their waste creation."

The Green Party supported legislation obliging manufacturers to take responsibility for the collection and recycling of their products and waste, as well as the imposition of resource taxes to make the production of more durable products and re-useable packaging, and the use of recycled materials, more attractive.

"The proliferation of toxic chemicals in the home, on the land and in industry may generate toxic leachate that is likely to prove lethal for future generations. The Canterbury mega-landfill could well be a disaster for the region and its water supplies and, if nothing is done, many more of these landfills will be proposed for other parts of New Zealand. "There is no lack of good intentions among local authorities to cut down on waste, but the proliferation of packaging and disposable products and the lack of markets for recycleables is wearing down even the most ardent waste reductionist," Mr Ward said.

"Local authorities have been trying for some time to stop waste, it's time the government did its bit."

Mr Ward said Government initiatives announced today to make businesses pay for cleaning up polluted land they owned was a step forward for anti-pollution laws but did not go far enough. Measures were needed to stop businesses polluting in the first place.


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