12 Mar 2021

We’re proposing in our Draft Long Term Plan to invest in our recycling and organics facilities to enable more waste to be diverted from landfill.

Christchurch has had a successful three-bin kerbside system since 2009, diverting approximately 65 per cent of household recyclable and organic materials from landfill.

Minimising our waste

Waste minimisation is fundamental to helping achieve our climate change goals. In 2018, 9 per cent of our carbon footprint for the Christchurch community was caused by waste disposal.

In Christchurch, more than 200,000 tonnes of waste is sent to landfill each year, the equivalent of 538 kilograms per person (excluding special waste). Another 115,000 tonnes is processed through our recycling and organics facilities (diverted from landfill).

There are growing community aspirations for sustainable ways to manage our resources, such as recycling and composting to reduce these materials going to landfills.

The Council shares those aspirations. In 2020 we adopted a new Waste Management and Minimisation Plan that focuses on changing our ‘throw-away’ culture and reducing the amount of waste we are sending to landfill.

Implementing the actions in that plan are the key drivers of our capital and operational spending in the area of resource recovery.

Our kerbside red bin service delivers about 45,000 tonnes of rubbish per year to landfill. In addition, our public EcoDrops and transfer stations around Christchurch and Banks Peninsula receive almost 70,000 tonnes of rubbish each year.

Upgrading our transfer stations will ensure we provide safe and accessible facilities for disposal of rubbish, while investing in resource recovery centres at each site and education programmes will help divert more waste from landfill.

We propose spending $18.5 million on transfer station infrastructure over the next 10 years, including:

  • Upgraded facilities building at Barrys Bay Transfer Station ($0.3 million)
  • Transfer station stormwater treatment ($0.25 million)
  • Transfer station upgrades ($9 million)
  • Equipment (including renewals) ($9 million)

Our kerbside recycling yellow bin service produces about 34,000 tonnes per year. We’re facing significant challenges to divert recyclable items from landfill. We need to reduce our yellow kerbside bins from being contaminated with rubbish, and increase our sorting capabilities to meet new quality standards required by international recycling markets.

We also need to work with the Government and industry to promote processing materials in New Zealand where possible. Failing to reduce contamination to acceptable levels could mean we don’t have an export or local market for our recycling.

We propose spending $18.4 million on recycling infrastructure over the next 10 years, including:

  • $1.6 million on capital renewals.
  • $16.8 million on Materials Recovery Facility upgrades – funded by the Government, with assets vested to the Council once the contract is completed.

We are upgrading our organics processing plant in Bromley to ensure odour and dust standards are met, and to future-proof the plant’s capacity.

We propose spending $25 million on organics infrastructure over the next 10 years, including:

  • Organics processing plant upgrades commencing in 2021 ($21.5 million).
  • Building and fixed plant renewals ($3.5 million).

The first three years will focus on the upgrades at the organics processing plant and Materials Recovery Facility sites. Major contracts for these facilities expire in January 2024. Ongoing management of these sites will determine further investment.