Clean-Up Begins at Ruakākā Waste Plant

Jan. 26, 2021, 10:35 a.m.

A long overdue clean up of a toxic waste plant at Ruakākā is under way after 10 years of issues and environmental court battles.

Sustainable Solvents Ltd previously owned the property and abandoned waste contained in storage in 2017 after being found guilty of discharging contaminants and defying court orders.

Simon Weston, General Manager of Infrastructure for Whangārei District Council says the clean up will cost around 3 million dollars.

“This project is about removing all the materials from the site and the second stage (land remediation) is a matter to be worked through at a later date.”

There are around 4000 drums and 500 cubes on site and it is expected around 200 a week can be tested and cleared from the site.  

Allan Blackman Professor of Chemistry at AUT says there are a number of ways chemicals can be recycled and most organisations should be following strict health and safety procedures.

“In an operation like this there would be all sorts of protocols and procedures that would have to be documented.  Something has fallen down somewhere and so where were the people who were meant to be reporting on this?”.


Tags: environment Local Government


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