by Geoffrey Churchman
The council management had made clear that they wanted to close the facility on 1 August and thanks to the management’s supporters around the council table, that was what was agreed to last Tuesday.
However, it was a split decision: 5 councilors for and 5 against:
The mayor sided with the management, making it a 6–5 decision.
Thus it means that everyone who wants to dump green waste and recycling (sorted into categories in the containers) will from 1 August have to drive to the Otaihanga facility. By our rough calculation, for those living west of Park Avenue (including the whole of the Beach Zone) it adds about 5 km to the journey each way. For those in the Central Zone it adds about 4 km each way. For those in the Hill Zone and Reikorangi it is about a net 2 km each way extra because the cessation of the Main Road to Park Avenue part is a deduction from the 3 km from the Waikanae commercial centre to the Otaihanga facility. It should be mentioned that elderly drivers can have restrictions placed on them regarding the distances from home they can drive.
The council table discussion can be heard in the YouTube video below (this starts at the applicable stage).
Eva and I decided the next day to visit the site and had a chat with the soon-to-be-redundant lady in charge of the booth. She was unwilling to state how much revenue was received from green waste dumpers and the bags of compost sold, although it can’t be insignficant.
She said that every morning she has to deal with general waste that gets dumped in the yard there overnight. We wonder where it will now be dumped? In culverts and over bridges?
What does the council now intend to do with the land? Although there was a vague mention of “options” by management such as leasing it to the Pony Club which uses some adjoining land, it seems more likely to us that it will be sold to Summerset as an extra access/egress to the officially stated one a bit further along Park Avenue. Such will get the inevitable “public excluded”, that is, secret, treatment.