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Tawa residents near the landfill have had concerns about odour from the landfill off and on over the years. However, since December 2021 there has been an increase in the number of complaints received. We have been actively working to understand the nature of the issues, specific causes and have implemented several measures to try and address them.
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 have also:
In late May 2022, Council’s landfill services consultant Tonkin + Taylor commenced a proactive odour monitoring programme where surveys are undertaken in a defined route around the Tawa residential area when specific weather conditions are present.
This enables the collection of baseline data during conditions that typically coincide with more frequent complaints and avoids the pitfalls of relying on reacting to complaints only to find that conditions (and odour levels) have changed once the location of the odour is able to be attended.
This is helping us gain an improved understanding of ambient odour and odour levels in Tawa, associated with the current landfill, so that we can measure the impact of the improvements we trial and put in place. The programme helps us assess the frequency, intensity, duration, character, and tone of odour experienced in the area.
The methodology for observation and recording is consistent with European standards.
Please call Porirua City council on 04 237 5089 or 0800 237 1500 and we will also notify Greater Wellington Regional Council.
Alternatively you can use our landfill odour complaint form or email email@example.com. Please note an email complaint may not be logged immediately.
When you report an odour complaint it is important that you provide the following information:
Which one of these is it most like?
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
Te Whatu Ora public health service have provided some advice for residents living near Spicer Landfill who are concerned about odour effects from the landfill impacting on their health.
You can access that advice here.
Our regulatory authority Greater Wellington Regional Council provides regular information on complaints received due to odour from the landfill.
The following graph shows the number of complaints received per month, since March 2022. This graph is updated on a monthly basis.
The next graph shows a 30-day rolling record of the number of complaints received. This graph is updated on a fortnightly basis.
We use several 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.
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.
Porirua City Council immediately notifies GWRC of all odour complaints received.
The wastewater treatment plant bio-solids accepted at Spicer Landfill comply with both the landfill resource consent and the landfill Waste Acceptance Criteria.
Wellington Water Ltd is contracted to run the wastewater treatment plant. Porirua City Council manages the contract.
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.
The public health service have recommended if you have concerns about symptoms associated with the odour, to discuss this with your family doctor. It is useful to take with you any records of when you experience symptoms and how these are associated with the odour, for example, an odour diary you have been keeping. If your doctor is concerned your health issues may be directly due to chemical or particle exposures, with your permission, they can report this to the public health service for further investigation.
Please click here for further information.
To make a complaint about odour from the landfill refer to our How to make a complaint section above.
If you've complained by web form:
Your complaint is sent to Porirua City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the landfill operator as soon as you hit submit. This is an automated, electronic process.
If you've complained by phone:
The customer service representative will log your complaint. This is normally while you are on the phone, but may be completed once you've hung up. Your complaint is sent to Porirua City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the landfill operator. This is an automated, electronic process that happens once the customer service representative has completed the entry.
If you've complained by email:
Your email will be logged by a customer service representative during business hours only. This may be the next business day if you've emailed after hours. Your complaint is sent to Porirua City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the landfill operator. This is an automated, electronic process that happens once the customer service representative has logged your email.