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Biosolids Compost Project

This wonderfully innovative project at Tairua that was initiated through the second to last Council with a huge amount of support from Peter Wood, has come unstuck.

It is easy to speculate that staff investigations were somewhat lacking - the major problem appears to lie within the area of land designation, and the content of submissions (objectors) to the Resource Consent application. Neighbours are not happy, even if their concerns may be considered by some as irrational. The problem lies in perception, and the possible effect of land values - who can blame them?

Staff can sometimes underestimate the level of objection to some of their fancier schemes, and after all, this does involve the processing of faecal residue, no matter how degraded. Without the building of a massive shed to encompass the entire operation, it is unlikely that consent would have been granted, so it is back to square one.

The proposal now is to re-locate this composting plant to Whitianga. The total cost is expected to be $1.3m to be brought forward from the 2016/17 year, and to recover $240,000 from the Tairua budget. The land is not a problem - it will go on designated wastewater plant land at Whitianga.

This will obviate the need for the second plant that was planned for 2016/17 - it is planned to put the displaced plant on to a 7 day operation, and combine its management with that of the Whitianga wastewater plant, thus creating some savings. 

Note that this biosolid plant is just another addition to the overall Eastern Seaboard Wastewater plant cost - it would not exist other for the need to process the biosolid discharge from these plants rather than transport same at great continuing cost to the Tirohea Land Fill.

The output from the plant, which includes the green waste collected from around the Peninsula is apparently of AA1 quality - completely up to specification, and is a valuable by-product, though those of us in Thames who have had to sacrifice our access to green waste from the transfer station at $5 a trailer load to the greater good, are not necessarily mollified.




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