Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Waipā waste incineration decision likely next year

A decision on whether a waste incineration plant can be built in Te Awamutu will not be made until early to mid-2024 at the earliest, Waipā District Council has announced.

The application to build the plant in Racecourse Road has been filed by Global Contracting Solutions. The company is proposing to incinerate 150,000 tonnes of rubbish annually, burning the rubbish to generate steam to turn into electric power. To fuel the plant, rubbish would be trucked from outside the district.

Waipā District Council and Waikato Regional Council (WRC) will hold a joint hearing next year to assess the application.

Three independent hearing commissioners, all with specialist skills, will make the final decision on whether or not the plant can be built and if so, under what conditions. Neither Waipā District councillors, nor Waikato Regional councillors, will be involved in the decision.

Waipā council’s group manager, district growth and regulatory services, Wayne Allan said independent commissioners would be appointed before Christmas but it was unlikely the hearing itself would be held until March or April 2024 at the earliest.

A decision following the hearing might take some weeks, he said.

“Our Council received 872 submissions on the proposal and WRC received 824 and they now all need to be assessed,” said Mr Allan.

“Both Councils are also seeking further information from the applicant so there are a lot of things still to be worked through before all that information even goes in front of the commissioners.”

Mr Allan confirmed that of the 872 submissions received by Council, the vast majority oppose the plant. Every submission, including a small number of late submissions, are now online, in alphabetical order. The request for further information is also online, along with details of the application.

“Processing the submissions and getting them online was a massive task.”

“It’s also important to realise, that under the law, it is not about numbers either opposed or in support.

“Commissioners are legally required to assess the application as prescribed by the Resource Management Act and make a decision on that basis,” he said.

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