Plans to fight landfill gather pace

Protesters are planning to target holiday weekend traffic with roadside anti-dump signs in Wellsford and the Dome.

More than 100 people packed into Wellsford Community Centre last night for a public meeting called to oppose plans to site a new Auckland regional landfill on 1000ha of farm and forestry land in the Dome Valley.
Organiser and local resident Dave Sawyer said it was a call for the community to come together to fight the proposal by Waste Management.
“We need to keep the focus narrow – fight the landfill and focus on saving the Dome Valley,” he said. “We need to spread the word, this is not just going to affect us in Wellsford. The more people we’ve got, the more chance we have of winning.”
The meeting heard from many local residents concerned about hundreds of extra trucks using SH1 daily and environmental impacts on waterways leading into the Hoteo River.
Wayby Valley resident and ecology graduate Matt Lomas said Waste Management was claiming its precautions would mean the site would never leak or slip.
“This is the highest rainfall area north of Auckland. They’re putting something at the top of a clearwater site. It’s not a controlled environment – look at the slash that comes down – there are massive slips up there all the time,” he said. “When it fails, it will end up in the Kaipara Harbour for eternity.”
Julia Nevill moved to Wellsford eight months ago from Dairy Flat, where she lived right next door to Waste Management’s Redvale landfill. She said the company had tried to extend its resource consent for a further 23 years there, but had only succeeded in getting an extra five years to 2028. She said it had been horrible living near the landfill.
“We were constantly getting cut off and stuck behind trucks with rubbish coming off them,” she said. “The odour was the biggest problem, they failed miserably a lot of the time. From what I saw, they can’t guarantee to protect the environment – we do have to fight it.”
Tapora schoolteacher Michelle Carmichael urged the meeting to begin opposing the plans as soon as possible by emailing Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, making signs for roadside protests and by complaining to the Commerce Commission about Waste Management’s information brochure, which she said included several examples of wrong or misleading information.


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