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Trade Waste amnesty

fat blockage pic

A one-year amnesty period is being rolled out as part of the Wairoa District Council’s trade waste education programme.

Last year, Council began actively implementing its trade waste policy after receiving funding through the Three Waters government infrastructure stimulus.

A Trade Waste Officer, also funded through the stimulus package, has been appointed and is spearheading an awareness campaign that includes building a district wide data base of businesses and private organisations which require a trade waste consent.

Group Manager Community Assets and Services, Stephen Heath, said the one-year amnesty period (until March 2022) will give people time to develop a trade waste system and apply for it to be approved and consented by Council.

“Our education campaign and the amnesty period are to help change historical behaviour of tipping nasties down the drain which ends up costing the rate payer for clearing sewer pipe blockages, or worse, ending up in the awa.

“We are partnering with our community to educate people around their waste obligations to protect our soon to be upgraded wastewater infrastructure and the environment.

“This active focus is new to Council and our community, so we are working in a staged approach so we can understand what is happening now, and look at opportunities to move forward, and make our district compliant with National Environment Standards.”

Council’s Trade Waste Compliance Officer is visiting all potential trade waste premises to assist in developing trade waste management plans.

Trade waste is classified as any liquid, with or without suspended solids, that may be discharged into the Council’s sewerage system in the course of any business or industrial process or operation.

Trade waste may include, but is not limited to, oils and fats from cafes, industrial washing water, oils and grease from garages, a car wash, condensing or cooling waters, stormwater from contaminated sites, etc.

“It is easy to think of the main street, but this goes further than that, we don’t want nasties such as waste oil, chemicals or medical waste down our drains.”

“We will be working with food providers, both takeaway and restaurants, hairdressers, service stations and a whole lot more as we work towards best practice and ultimately compliance.”

Methods of reducing the impact include grease traps which can be cleaned out and disposed of responsibly by the business owner, or stormwater interceptors.

Last year, Council received more than 30 callouts to pump stations blocked by non-organic items such as rags, elastic, wood, plastic and stones. These callouts costs Council, and therefore the ratepayer, thousands of dollars a year.

“Disposing of trade waste appropriately will mean environmental benefits and compliance resulting in less contaminants in our awa, cost benefits from not having to pay to clear blocked drains and pump stations and protection of Council’s infrastructure.”

Anyone who would like advice on developing a trade waste management plan and applying for a trade waste consent should contact the Council on 838 7309. Find out more about trade waste by clicking the button below.

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Caption: pictured is a recent fat blockage at a pump station. Unblocking unconsented trade waste dumping is costing Council and ratepayers thousands of dollars every year.

29 January 2021

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