3 Sep 2021

The redevelopment of Bromley’s Organics Processing Plant could be on hold while Christchurch City Council investigates options for building a new facility.

Council staff are bringing a report to next week’s Council meeting which recommends the Council investigate costs of building a new organics processing plant at another location.

“Long-term, this may be a better option than redeveloping the existing plant in Bromley.  However further work needs to be done to determine the feasibility of this so we are recommending that staff  spend the next six months investigating this proposal, before bringing a report back to Council in March next year for their consideration,”’ says Council Head of Three Waters and Waste Helen Beaumont.

The Bromley plant has been identified as one source of odour issues that have been troubling nearby residents for years and Environment Canterbury has issued the Council with an Abatement Notice.

To address the odour issues, the Council has been planning a $21.5 million redevelopment of the plant to fully enclose it. However, the tender prices it has received for redeveloping the Bromley plant have come in over budget.

“It has become clear through the tender process that we cannot fully redevelop the plant and mitigate all the odour issues within the allocated budget. After a re-examination of the options, staff believe it is worthwhile investigating costs of building a new plant at a different site,’’ Ms Beaumont says.

“In the interim staff are working through options for all compost to be removed from site following the fully enclosed tunnel composting phase of the process. We are committed to doing everything practicable to comply with the Abatement Notice whilst we work through the options on the future of organic waste processing in Christchurch.”

Ms Beaumont says Council staff have undertaken an initial assessment of options for suitable development sites. Key avenues explored include Council-owned land, land owned by neighbouring councils and the regional council, industrial-zoned private land and very rural locations.

“There are potential sites for a new facility, but all have limiting factors,’’ Ms Beaumont says. “We need to do further investigation and have some detailed conversations with Environment Canterbury regarding consenting requirements.

“If the Council decides this is the direction they want to go in, we will bring a further report to the Council in March 2022.’’

Ms Beaumont says if the Council makes the decision to build a new plant at a different site, the project is likely to take at least three years to complete.

Because of the commercial sensitivities around contract pricing, the Council will consider the future of the organics processing plant in the public excluded section of Thursday’s Council meeting. The decision reached at the meeting will be released to the public afterwards.