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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti
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Latest news and updates

Update - October 2018

The DCC’s Waste Futures project team aims to present a proposed draft Waste Minimisation and Management Plan 2019, including options for the city’s future landfill and kerbside collection services, before the end of this year.

Group Manager Waste and Environmental Solutions, Chris Henderson, updated the Infrastructure and Network Services Committee on 15 October about Waste Futures progress achieved so far, outlining consultation, business case study and feasibility research.

A district-wide assessment of how much waste Dunedin produces, and what happens to it, was conducted this year as part of the current Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2013’s review. The proposed draft plan, plus future landfill and kerbside options, will be presented to Council in December, in preparation for public consultation in 2019.

Chris Henderson says, “We have gathered information for all aspects of Waste Futures during numerous workshops with stakeholders, including iwi, the waste management industry, organics and community groups, and the rural, construction and tertiary sectors.

“Our feasibility studies for future landfill operations indicate there is potential for Green Island Landfill to operate for an additional ten years if required, and that the designated Smooth Hill site, should we require it, looks suitable as a future replacement. We’ve informed residents and interested parties neighbouring Green Island Landfill and Smooth Hill about the project and potential outcomes.

“No decisions have been made yet and there is still much work to do. We have one more stakeholder workshop to hold. Our financial estimates, detailed Business Case and detailed site investigations will not begin until a preferred option has been agreed by Council following public consultation.

“Waste Futures presents us with a great opportunity to develop a cohesive waste management system for the city that makes real progress towards our zero waste and circular economy aspirations.”

See the 15 October Waste Futures Report in the related information section.

Update June 2018

Future path of Dunedin’s rubbish under review

As part of updating the Dunedin City Council’s overarching Waste Minimisation and Management Plan (WMMP), future options to manage the city’s rubbish and recycling will be discussed with key stakeholders this year and put out for public consultation next year.

The WMMP update will include looking at rubbish collection, recycling and disposal options.

DCC Acting General Manager Infrastructure and Networks Leanne Mash says, “Our current WMMP was finalised in 2013, so it’s due for an update. It gave us key goals that we committed to, aimed at reducing and efficiently managing the city’s waste, minimising any harmful effects and developing waste management opportunities in the community such as employment, connections between community groups and independence from external markets.

“The WMMP review will give people an opportunity to provide feedback on how we do things, how we could offer new services, e.g. organics (green waste) kerbside collection, and help fine tune our goals. A key challenge for waste is not just managing how much we generate and how to reduce this, but also how to reduce our CO2 emissions.

“We’ll also ask for people’s ideas regarding an upcoming change. The Green Island Landfill will come to the end of its functional life as a landfill in the next five to 10 years. While Green Island is likely to remain a transfer station longer term, we’ll investigate how long landfill operations could continue at Green Island, as well as how and where we dispose of rubbish beyond then.

“It could take five to seven years to work through public consultation, regulatory processes and physically establish a new waste disposal facility, such as a landfill, so this is an important issue for Dunedin.”

Ms Mash says while Dunedin aims to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill as much as possible, it will need some form of waste disposal for years to come. The review will consider the full range of potential options.

“We are investigating the feasibility of developing a landfill,” she adds. “A site known as Smooth Hill (on Big Stone and McLaren Gully Roads) has long been considered a potential site, but we have not committed to anything and this review will enable people to give their views on this, too.

“We’d be looking for the best option to provide a solution for our needs for 30 or more years. This would help us move towards reduced waste and carbon emissions with greater certainty. We’re committed to providing customer-focused, cost-effective services that have as little impact on the environment as possible.”

Visit for more information.

The Council will be discussing a report on waste issues on 26 June.


  • What is a Waste Minimisation and Management Plan?
    • The DCC has a responsibility under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 to ‘promote effective and efficient waste management and minimisation’ and, for this purpose, to ‘adopt a waste management and minimisation plan’.
    • The Waste Minimisation and Management Plan sets out the pathway by which we (the DCC, waste and diverted material operators, businesses, and individuals) work together so Dunedin can reduce its rubbish as much as possible.
    • The plan covers collection, recovery, recycling, treatment and disposal, services and facilities in Dunedin, including waste minimisation promotion and education, whether provided by the DCC or others.
  • Why is Green Island nearing the end of its functional life?  
    • The Green Island Landfill is designated as a landfill operations site and has resource consents from the Otago Regional Council to operate until 2023.
    • While landfill operations at Green Island may finish up in the next few years, the site will need to continue to be managed as a closed landfill and is likely to remain as a waste transfer station.
    • Current estimates are that the landfill has 5-10 years more capacity for waste. This depends on volumes of waste, which have increased with the closure of the Fairfield landfill in 2017.
    • The investigations into how long operations could continue at Green Island and what is needed to enable this, e.g. consents, physical works, etc, will provide a more robust assessment of potential capacity at Green Island, what this might mean for operations and any extension or new consent requirements.
  • If a new waste disposal site was required what would it cost?
    • This will depend very much on the preferred option chosen. If the best option is a new landfill site, establishment costs could be somewhere in the order of $20 million to $30 million to develop the site and new or upgraded waste transfer stations. Landfill income over time would assist with recovering these costs.
  • Why is Smooth Hill a potential landfill site?
    • Smooth Hill was identified as a potential landfill site in the early 1990s and is designated in the District Plan for landfill purposes. We have yet to assess whether it can still be regarded as a suitable site by present standards.

Contact: Acting General Manager Infrastructure and Networks

Phone: 03 477 4000

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