New waste contract boosts Russell sustainability

Published on 07 September 2021

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Improved recycling and sorting facilities, community gardens and increased awareness about recycling are some of the changes residents will see at the Russell Landfill and Re-Cycling Centre.

The new initiatives will be provided by Northland Waste Limited, which took over operation of the facility at the end of July. It won the contract to operate the centre following a March 2021 public tender that specified greater community involvement in recycling, waste education and sustainability opportunities. 

Northland Waste is working with a local charitable trust, Resilient Russell, to deliver community aspects of the contract, which was confirmed during the Far North District Council’s 1 July meeting.

The Russell Landfill and Recycling Centre had been managed since 2015 by Ventia Limited (formally Broadspectrum NZ Limited). 

Northland Waste Manager, Andrew Sclater, says the company is grateful to Far North District Council, which recognised the value of a community-led approach at the Russell landfill. “We look forward to providing waste solutions to the wider community that will enable Russell to turn its waste into a resource.”

He says new initiatives at the site will include wood waste recovery, on-site composting for food and green waste, and upcycling of discarded items to be sold in a second-hand shop. Northland Waste also plans to improve glass bunkers so that more glass can be recycled on-site.

Unfortunately, the landfill side of the operation has been temporarily closed due to signs of possible subsidence. The Council will engage an independent expert to report on the site as soon as COVID-19 travel restrictions are relaxed. As well as subsidence, the assessment will look at the long-term future of the landfill which has an estimated eight years of capacity remaining. The landfill will remain closed until the report is completed.

During this time, waste destined for landfill at Russell will be transported to the Northland Regional Landfill (Puwera) 8.5km south of Whangarei. The temporary closure will not disrupt services provided to customers at the Russell Landfill and Recycling Centre and there will be no extra costs for customers or ratepayers. 

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Last updated 07 September 2021