Builders frustrated by lack of local waste disposal options

Posted at 10:47am Monday 29 Jun, 2020

Two days, too little – builders say they need waste disposal all week.Two days, too little – builders say they need waste disposal all week.

Mahurangi builders and tradespeople are frustrated by the lack of local options to dispose of commercial waste since transfer stations in Snells Beach and Wellsford were closed by Auckland Council last year.

The sites at Lawrie Road and Rustybrook Road were vacated by Northland Waste, and reopened as community refuse and recycling centres by Mahurangi Wastebusters, which won a two-year contract to run an interim service while Council carried out remediation works at the former landfills.

However, commercial waste and cleanfill are no longer allowed at either site, and they only open for one or two working days a week, which is causing a headache for local tradies. John Griffin, who runs Rodney Building Services in Sandspit, said it was farcical that Lawrie Road was only open for two days, meaning he had to hold on to his rubbish, or drive to either Silverdale or Hakaru transfer stations.

“The current Lawrie Road facility is a joke, the telephone contact number isn't staffed and the fact that it's available two days a week demonstrates that Auckland Council really has no commitment to provide real services to this community,” he said.

“If you shut down essential services and then say you're only going to be doing it two days a week, it's not feasible. It's an essential service for the community.”

David Wade, of Warkworth Builders, agreed, saying the current situation was frustrating and inconvenient.

“A couple of my guys went recently and they weren't allowed to drop concrete and dirt. We unloaded all the stuff we could, then had to take the rest away,” he said. “I don't know what they expect us to do with all our commercial waste. I know no one wants a dump in their backyard and they want zero waste, but you're never going to get that with builders.

“Look at what's going to happen in the next 10 years or so — they've got to do something, and sooner rather than later.”

Responding to John Griffin's concerns, Council's senior waste planning specialist Jenny Chilcott said the waste solutions department was hoping to have a clearer understanding of what waste and resource recovery services would be needed at Lawrie Road by August, but this was dependent on Covid-19 restrictions.

“At this point budget and other completion dates are unknown. Our anticipated timeframe for moving towards a fuller service for Rodney residents is two years,” she said. “We understand that this is not ideal but is a short-term solution as we undertake the necessary evaluation of the site for a longer term solution.”

Mahurangi Wastebusters director Matthew Luxon said while the group's two-year contract placed limits on what could be done at the sites, he would be keen to meet up with local tradies to discuss the possibility of opening up for more days and to find some kind of compromise.

Northland Waste was granted resource consent to build a new waste transfer station at 183 Sandspit Road last year, but this is currently the subject of an appeal against the decision by a neighbour.


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