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Minister Must Intervene To Stop Te Awamutu Incinerator Proposal

The Zero Waste Network Aotearoa has today written to Minister for the Environment David Parker requesting that he intervenes in a proposed waste incinerator in Te Awamutu.

The Te Awamutu incinerator would burn 166,525 tonnes a year comprising mixed solid waste (78,880 tonnes), plastics (35,058 tonnes), tyres (35,058 tonnes), and flock (the waste material from the metal shredding and separation process - 17,529 tonnes). It would be a net contributor of greenhouse gas emissions as well as emitting heavy metals and dioxins into the air, water and soil.

Global Contracting Solutions Limited has applied to the Waipā District Council for a land use consent to build the waste-to-energy incinerator at 401 Racecourse Road in Te Awamutu, an area that is immediately adjacent to existing and planned residential housing and subject to flooding. The company has also applied for three consents for discharge-to-air, for discharge of stormwater to water, and for using clean fill in a floodplain with the Waikato Regional Council.

“The company is arguing that effects will be minor so they shouldn’t have to front up to the public. If these consent applications are not publicly notified, it is imperative that the Minister get involved to stop this monstrosity,” said Dorte Wray, Zero Waste Network’s Executive Officer.

“Given the level of toxic waste that will be created and spread around by this incinerator, it is of the gravest importance that this incinerator be stopped. Not only will the community of Te Awamutu be exposed to cancer-causing pollutants, but the company is proposing that the toxic ash be turned into a building product. Along with this the incinerator will be a major addition to New Zealand’s overall carbon footprint. We simply cannot afford to waste time and money building dangerous old technology. We have better, cheaper and far more ecologically and economically-sound solutions to address our waste crisis.”

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“In the Waikato region and across Aotearoa, zero waste enterprises and organisations are already forming the foundation of a circular economy. Zero Waste Hubs and initiatives doing reuse, repair, recycling, composting, product stewardship takeback, behaviour change and community engagement could expand and replicate with the right tools and support. Incinerators need to consume huge and consistent quantities of rubbish, directly threatening our efforts to prevent waste being made in the first place, and reusing and recycling the rest."

The 61 members of the Zero Waste Network Aotearoa use a community enterprise business model to deliver resource recovery and behaviour change services. They collectively employ 1200 FTE, turn over $75m and recover 35,000 tonnes of resources each year.

You can read the full text of our letter to the Minister setting out the reasons that this should be called in here.

© Scoop Media

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