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Spicer Landfill odour

This page gives you information about the odour issues we experience from time to time at Spicer Landfill and what's being done about them.

Update May 2022

We have been receiving complaints since December 2021 from residents in the western hills of Tawa and Linden, concerned with odour coming from Spicer Landfill. We are actively working to investigate this and have implemented a number of measures to address these issues.

A public meeting was held in April 2022 to discuss concerns and agree some steps forward. Questions raised prior to and during the meeting have been answered here: Odour Questions & Answers

In addition to the nine current measures being introduced to reduce odour (see FAQ below: What is being done about odour) we are:

  • Implementing regular odour surveys in Tawa
  • Inviting a number of residents to keep 'odour diaries' to help us get a better picture of the issues
  • Planning to have regular meetings with the community liaison group that focus on odour
  • Actively working with Greater Wellington Regional Council on the complaints and investigation process
  • Training local staff (nose calibration) so they can respond and verify odour complaints faster.

How to raise a concern or make a complaint

Please call the Greater Wellington Regional Council Environmental Hotline on 0800 496 734 and they will log your call and investigate. It is their role to manage any complaints.

If you prefer, you can contact Porirua City Council on 04 237 5089 and we will notify Greater Wellington.

When you call it is important that you provide the following information:

Smell characteristics

Which one of these is it most like?

  • Rubbish bin
  • Faeces/sewage
  • Sweet/sickly
  • Sulphurous/rotten egg
  • Garden mulch/decaying vegetation

Smell strength

On a scale of 1 to 6 tell us how bad it is:

1 = barely detectable

3 = distinctive

6 = extremely strong, inducing a physical reaction

Public record of complaints

We are currently working to maintain a public record of odour complaints relating to the Spicer Landfill, with the assistance of our regulatory authority Greater Wellington Regional Council. When this is available it will be published on this page. Please check again soon.

FAQs

We use a number of measures to control the odour from the landfill and this includes odour spray lines installed around the perimeter of the active landfill, applying daily cover to the active tip face every evening, and a thicker intermediate cover on areas no longer being filled.

We continually review our operations to ensure that we are doing the best we can to reduce the odour. Below are some initiatives that we are currently undertaking.

  1. We have set up a high priority odour control task group that meets fortnightly to monitor the effectiveness of the odour mitigation measures and explore other potential solutions.
  2. A special site inspection and meeting was recently carried out to review and improve the active tip face filling plan.
  3. The landfill operator has committed to increasing its resources to place a thicker intermediate cover (up to 500mm deep) on the exterior slopes of the active cell. This has been progressed over the eastern slope and more is planned in the near future.
  4. An alternative daily cover (ADC) is being sprayed on weekdays. A deodorant chemical is currently added to the ADC. Additional on-site odour surveys will be carried out regularly to check the effectiveness of the ADC with the additional deodorant. If this is successful, it will also be used on weekends.
  5. We are investigating the installation of another meteorological station on the ridge close to Meridian Road to ensure that it holds better information regarding wind direction and speed that could cause odour impacts to members of the public.
  6. We are going to import and trial an odour neutralizer from the US.
  7. We have a gas extraction system installed that expands as waste filling progresses to actively extract and burn off gas from inside the active cell.
  8. Keeping the active filling area as small as possible and limiting how far waste has to be pushed to its final burial spot. We have also created a new access that will allow us to move the filling area to a location at a much lower elevation and further away from the boundary.
  9. We will let Greater Wellington Regional Council and members of the public know, in advance, whenever there is a one-off/urgent case requiring the landfill to be open and operational beyond its normal operating hours.

Spicer Landfill is a joint venture, owned by Porirua City Council (78.5 per cent) and Wellington City Council (21.5 per cent). The landfill is managed by Porirua City Council.

Porirua City Council (PCC) reports to a Joint Venture Committee which has representatives from both Porirua and Wellington City Councils (WCC).

EnviroWaste Services Ltd operates the landfill on behalf of the two Councils.

Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) plays a regulatory role. They ensure the landfill is operating according to its resource consent conditions. GWRC also responds to complaints from the public.

The odour that residents smell is unpleasant but not dangerous.

Landfill staff who may be exposed to landfill gas, for example when working on the gas system or digging into the landfill, wear personal gas sensors. 

Phone the Greater Wellington Regional Council Environmental Hotline on 0800 496 734 and they will log your call and investigate.

If you prefer, you can contact Porirua City Council on 04 237 5089 and we will notify Greater Wellington.

When you call it is important that you provide the following information:

Smell characteristics

Which one of these is it most like?

  • Rubbish bin
  • Faeces/sewage
  • Sweet/sickly
  • Sulphurous/rotten egg
  • Garden mulch/decaying vegetation

Smell strength

On a scale of 1 to 6 tell us how bad it is:

1 = barely detectable

3 = distinctive

6 = extremely strong, inducing a physical reaction

Reports

Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) Compliance Monitoring Reports:

(Further reports coming soon)