21 Jun 2023

Christchurch City Council today indicated its preference to end composting at the Organics Processing Plant as soon as reasonably, and practically, possible.

The Council decided, in a resolution moved by Mayor Phil Mauger and seconded by Deputy Mayor Pauline Cotter, to engage with the community and mana whenua on options for managing kerbside organics until a permanent solution is operational, including:

  • Sending some, or all, mixed kerbside organics to an alternative, or several alternative, commercial composting and wormfarm facilities if, and when, they have all necessary regulatory approvals; or
  • Sending some, or all, mixed kerbside organics to Kate Valley landfill, if, and when, Kate Valley has all necessary regulatory approvals; or
  • Continuing composting at the Organics Processing Plant with operational improvements

“I’d like to see the Organics Processing Plant close immediately for the benefit of the Bromley community but as a Council we need to seek community views. We will be asking all Christchurch residents to share their feedback on the proposed options when we go out for consultation over the coming months," Mayor Mauger says.

“The Bromley community has put up with a lot for far too many years and has told us that the odour is negatively affecting their health and wellbeing. We want to do something to acknowledge this hardship so have asked staff to look into options to support those impacted by the odours.”

The Council has requested staff to report back in August with options for providing relief to Bromley households directly impacted by odours from the plant.

“We’ve requested staff to report back to us on a date we can stop spreading compost at the Wastewater Treatment Plant as it’s like rubbing salt on a wound.  Staff have also been asked to identify any other immediate options to reduce odour from the Organics Processing Plant,” says Mayor Mauger.

Today’s decision is a significant step forward in ceasing composting activity in Bromley at the current site. I acknowledge the many years of frustration and stress local people have endured because of the offensive and objectionable odour," Local Councillor Yani Johanson says.

"I thank them for never giving up, continuing to lodge complaints, and making deputations to highlight the odour issues in the east.  I welcome the resolutions today and am committed to working with the community and the Council in fixing the problem as soon as reasonable.”

Following public consultation, the results will be presented back to Council who will then make a final decision on the preferred interim option. This decision will happen in December to coincide with the decision on the permanent solution. Then, if the preferred interim management of kerbside organics involves additional costs in the financial year starting 1 July 2024 – which is likely – the Council must make a funding decision on meeting that cost in the next Long Term Plan in June 2024.

The Organics Processing Plant currently processes about 60,000 tonnes of kerbside organics per year – 55,000 from Christchurch City Council and 5000 from Waimakariri District Council.