Category : News
Author: Caley Callahan

A proposed landfill near Dunedin Airport could be dumped because of the serious risk of bird strikes to passenger jets.

Two thousand residents have signed a petition to stop the landfill because they don't want it in their community.

Nestled along the back roads of Dunedin is Smooth Hill, home to a few residents and a quiet forestry block.

But that could all change if a planned landfill gets the green light.

"This is just a small country backroad and it's going to be extended to 8-metres-wide to ensure two big trucks can pass by each other," one local said. 

That's just one of the many possible changes to the area if a resource consent application for the 18-hectare dump is approved.

"We just want the Dunedin City Council to remove that application," Saddle Hill community board chair Scott Weatherall told Newshub. 

Dunedin's main landfill at Green Island is expected to run out of room as early as 2023, so Dunedinites will need somewhere else for their rubbish to go.

"It's then going to be put into containers," Weatherall said. "It's going to be put onto trucks, it's going to be carted down to here and disposed of in behind us here."

Where there's rubbish, there is also wildlife and birds.

That's a major concern for aircraft landing and taking off from Dunedin Airport.

The airport runway is just 5km away from the proposed site, well inside the Civil Aviation Authority's recommended 13km buffer for landfills. 

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) publicly notified the application, opening the door for locals to have their say.

"Submissions on that application have recently closed and we received 282 submissions from the public," ORC regulatory general manager Richard Saunders told Newshub. 

The City Council wouldn't be interviewed but locals are opposed because of the risk to the environment.

Specifically, contaminating the Otokia Creek which runs out to Brighton Beach.

"Nasty chemicals. I think there was some talk of perhaps accepting asbestos. If that was leached through the waterways no one's going to want to bring their babies or their toddlers to come swimming down here," Brighton resident Munirah Burra told Newshub. 

Locals said they've lost trust in the council which lodged its initial application in August 2020 just days before new freshwater legislation came into force. 

"You know five days later this proposal would be illegal based on that new freshwater policy," Burra said.

A community divided over where to dump the city's next landfill.

Article: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2022/01/proposed-landfill-near-dunedin-airport-could-be-dumped-because-of-serious-risk-of-bird-strike-to-passenger-jets.html
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