6 October 2020


Media: Local Democracy Reporter 
Topic: Recycling in Rotorua


*NOTE: This enquiry follows on from a previous enquiry on the same topic. See that enquiry and response, from 2 October 2020, HERE

I wonder if you might have mis-read this question:
  • Can you please explain the risk of contamination due to collecting and compacting the recycling all together before transporting it? Is the risk higher since it is not sorted from each truck load (ie the trucks that collect the recycling locally) collected before being transported?

Yes, compacting the recycling in the truck can increase the risk of contamination. For example, if there are bottles filled with liquids in the recycling collection, they may spill when the recycling is compacted. However, compaction is standard practice in waste collection as it minimises the amount of trips needed to transport the material to be sorted after collection.

I was asking not about the contamination in the trucks​ - as you say, standard practice - but the potential for contamination by collecting various truckloads' worth of recycling and compacting it on site again - therefore mixing various truckloads. What I was driving at is whether the fact that the waste is collected, dumped, re-compacted, then sent to Kopu raises the risk of further contamination versus regular kerbside collection then sorting in Rotorua.

Let me know if this clarification changes your answer.

2. I understand the Smart Environmental contract was worth $4m in 2016. Has that changed? What is the Waste Management contract worth in $?

3. If the council does not hold the data on emissions created out of Smart Environmental's system, does that mean this data has not been incorporated in the council's draft Rotorua climate action plan? Why doesn't the council request this data? Was this data not given nor requested when the council entered the contract?

4. Why doesn't the council hold the data that explains that this system works better (environmentally) than having a local landfill and sorting centre?

5. One answer seems to imply Smart Environmental transports rubbish to the Tirohia landfill? I understand it is Waste Management that carries this out. Is this correct or was that in error?


​From Rotorua Lakes Council’s Infrastructure Business Manager Regan Fraser:

1. No, the answer wouldn’t change. Both compaction while collecting and mixing, and compaction of different truckloads, are part of standard operating procedure.

2. The Smart Environmental contract was awarded for 15 years in 2016 with a total value of $58.5 million (this value has not changed). There is no set value for the Waste Management contract. Council pays standard waste disposal charges to Waste Management, which currently stands at $178.50 per tonne.

3. AECOM’s report on Council’s corporate carbon footprint for 2016-17 included emissions from waste, as well as emissions arising from contractors and capital projects. Emissions are calculated at the transport sector level but are not able to be easily split out into individual activities.

A copy of the report can be found here.

AECOM is currently preparing a 2018/2019 report on Rotorua’s carbon inventory. The report is due in November and will include an updated breakdown of emissions by sector. Emissions from waste transport will be included in the transport percentage of the Greenhouse Gas Inventory and this new data will be reflected in the Climate Action Plan.

The current 2015/2016 Greenhouse Gas Inventory included in the draft Climate Action Plan does not include waste emissions as waste was not being transported out of Rotorua at this time.

4. At the time of awarding the contract, Council considered the health and safety risks and the environmental effects of contaminants discharging from landfill to water, land and air, such as methane and leachate. It was clear that running the legacy landfill as it was, was no longer viable. 

For information, not quotes: This decision was not based around comparing tonnes of CO2e of the operation locally vs externally. That is why there is no clear comparison. Discharge of leachate to a receiving water body is a breach of resource consent. Having an open landfill face that residents backed their trailer or car up to was a health and safety risk. The open landfill allowed methane to escape to the atmosphere without treatment. These are the reasons the legacy landfill was capped. Should a new cell be opened in the future, while it may reduce the kilometres our local rubbish needs to be transported, there will be an environmental impact of the rubbish brought in from outside the district (a new cell is only viable with much higher tonnages than we generate)).

5. Our municipal waste is transported to Tirohia by Waste Management. Recycling contaminants, sorted and segregated at material recovery facilities, are transported to a landfill by Smart Environmental. ​________________________________________________________________________________________

Media: Rotorua Daily Post 
Topic: Revaluations


*NOTE: This enquiry follows on from a previous enquiry on the same topic. See that enquiry and response, from 9 September 2020, HERE


Apologies, I'm only just getting to this now. 

Most of this is still relevant, but I would just like to confirm Opteon still hasn't seen any negative influence from Covid on values?


We confirmed that all information provided 9 September still stands, including no negative influence seen on values from COVID.​

Page reviewed: 08 Oct 2020 11:52am