Auckland’s newest waste facility will open early next year in Epsom, after local residents confirmed they had no objections to the project going ahead.
The Auckland Council decided to build the new rubbish dump in Epsom, after it became clear that most local residents were unlikely to object to the project.
The Council’s head of Waste Facilities Management, Brian Ragnar, said the planned refuse facility on St Andrews Road would open in June 2012 and was expected in time to become Auckland’s largest waste facility.
A number of historic homes are to be demolished to make way for the facility, and the mountain of rubbish that will quickly form following the facility’s opening is expected to be visible from up to two kilometres away.
The proposed rubbish heap has not yet formed, but has already been dubbed “Mt Epsom” by local residents.
Mr Ragnar explained why the Council had chosen a prosperous inner-city suburb for the site, rather than somewhere out of the way.
“In the past we have had tremendous difficulties getting the necessary planning consents for a project like this,” said Mr Ragnar.
“Most people don’t want a rubbish dump next-door, so we usually get tied up in litigation and endless rounds of consultation when we have a project of this nature.
“But we know that people in Epsom are very accommodating. We’ve had very few objections to the project, and a number of residents whose homes are next to the site have assured us it’s our land and we should be able to do with it as we please.
“We were pleased not to have to go through the Environment Court.”
St Andrews Road resident Bernie Rearden said he was not worried about the visual pollution, the constant stench, or the plague of rats that would come with the new facility.
“It’s their land, isn’t it?” said Mr Rearden. “I’ve got no business telling them how to use it.”
Mr Rearden also confirmed he was not perturbed by the recent decision of the Department of Corrections to build a new maximum-security prison next to the waste facility, right behind his own section.
“It makes sense in a way,” said Mr Rearden.
“With the oxidation ponds they’re building on one side of the prison, the rubbish mountain on the other side, and the planned fifty-metre deep open cast quarry out the back, it’s going to be hard for the buggers to escape, isn’t it?
Outgoing Epsom MP Rodney Hide said he was delighted with the new projects.
“I’m sure most of my constituents are just happy to see property owners exercising their God-given freedoms in this way,” said Mr Hide.