Too smelly? Row between two councils over organics plant and its stench might find yourself in court docket

The Christchurch City Council says it has recently implemented significant changes at the organics processing plant to reduce the plant’s stink. (File photo)

Christchurch Metropolis Council/Stuff

The Christchurch Metropolis Council says it has lately applied vital modifications on the organics processing plant to scale back the plant’s stink. (File picture)

Is it too smelly? Relating to an East Christchurch compost plant, the reply has two Canterbury councils at loggerheads – and it’s a scenario that may find yourself in court docket.

Atmosphere Canterbury (ECan) believes the Residing Earth organics processing plant in Bromley has breached its consent by persevering with to provide “low degree odour discharges”, regardless of being directed to halt all “offensive and objectionable” smells.

The plant is owned by the Christchurch Metropolis Council – and its unbiased odour professional disagrees with the regional council’s view.

The town council says it has efficiently eradicated potential sources of odour by vital modifications to how the plant operates, together with upkeep on the biofilters, including a probiotic to boost the compost course of, and clearing 30,000 tonnes of compost that was maturing open air.

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The plant continues to hassle close by residents.

Michael Williams and Bruce King, each Bromley residents, implored metropolis councillors final month to shut it due to the continued stink.


Bromley in east Christchurch would possibly simply be New Zealand’s smelliest suburb, however after years of complaints authorities are nonetheless battling to do away with the putrid pong. (First revealed January 2020)

Closing the plant would have value town tens of millions and led to 1000’s of tonnes of natural waste being diverted to landfill. Councillors determined to maintain the plant open, however directed their workers to seek out extra methods to scale back odour.

The council has dedicated to shifting the plant from its present website – however that would take about 5 years.

ECan chief govt Dr Stefanie Rixecker mentioned the plant has breached its consent and it was having an antagonistic impact on the surroundings and group wellbeing.

“We stand by our view, which relies on proof and on our personal consultants’ views,” she mentioned.

ECan beforehand directed town council to cease odours past the plant’s boundary by February 1.

In a letter to town council, Rixecker mentioned “low degree odour discharges” from the plant have been persevering with. The frequency of the odour was sufficient for it to be deemed a “persistent odour problem”.

Bromley residents Katinka Visser, Vickie Walker and Michael Williams celebrating that the plant will be moved out of Bromley, but the move could still take five years.

Liz McDonald/Stuff

Bromley residents Katinka Visser, Vickie Walker and Michael Williams celebrating that the plant will probably be moved out of Bromley, however the transfer might nonetheless take 5 years.

The town council has possible dedicated an offence below the Useful resource Administration Act, Rixecker mentioned.

ECan is now making ready a memo for its enforcement choice panel to think about additional motion, which might embody taking the matter to court docket.

Rixecker warned in her letter metropolis council workers are below no obligation to reply questions, but when they do, their responses could also be utilized in future court docket proceedings.

ECan wouldn’t say when its panel would take into account the matter. Rixecker wouldn’t rule out court docket motion as a risk.

The town council’s infrastructure, planning and regulatory providers common supervisor, Jane Davis, mentioned for the reason that begin of 2022 Pattle Delamore Companions have carried out unbiased odour testing on the plant.

“Based mostly on this testing, we take into account that Residing Earth has been profitable in eliminating numerous potential sources of odour from their website and lowered the potential for offensive or objectionable odours to happen past the boundary of the location,” she mentioned.

Davis mentioned town council wished to do all it might to minimise the danger of potential odour.

Environment Canterbury chief executive Stefanie Rixecker says “low level odour discharges” are continuing from the controversial organics processing plant. (File photo)

Atmosphere Canterbury chief govt Stefanie Rixecker says “low degree odour discharges” are persevering with from the controversial organics processing plant. (File picture)

“We’re persevering with to interact with Atmosphere Canterbury in relation to this matter as we’re each dedicated to making sure the very best end result for the local people,” she mentioned.

Council workers have been requested by councillors to analyze whether or not there’s the rest they’ll do to scale back the prospect of odours.

Christchurch metropolis councillor Yani Johanson, who has advocated for residents residing close to the organics plant, mentioned his personal council has at all times pushed again on alleged consent breaches.

He mentioned it had a sample of reluctance for taking accountability.

“The council ought to simply cease losing cash combating ECan, settle for ECan’s findings, and concentrate on shifting the plant.”

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