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This page was printed from www.nzsteel.co.nz on 19 May 2013
New Zealand Steel has operated its own solid waste landfill since 1991 without any negative impacts on its environment.
The steelmaking process generates some waste that as yet the Company has not found a way of recycling, or reusing and the landfill is the most effective way of managing this residual material.
The existing landfill receives only non-hazardous material. Unlike regular council landfills, there is no smelly household-type rubbish, or any organic material that rots. This is the intent for the proposed landfill to open in 2010.
The majority of the waste, over 60%, is clay from the transport of ironsand and iron-bearing sludges from storm water settling ponds, dust collected from air pollution control equipment and residual product from the iron making process, that cannot be recycled.
While we are continually looking at the viability of diverting wastes from the landfill to make new products, such as bricks and soil media, it is currently not possible to recycle all of it in this way. Development cost, market requirements and financial returns are taken into account in assessing these projects.
Recent successes include the new plant, commissioned in 2008, at the WNH ironsand mine that has reduced clay sent to landfill by around 30 percent.
The new landfill starting up in March 2010 is operated in limited stages (<6 hectares), just as has been done with the existing landfill. The land is returned progressively to valuable grazing land once filled. In this respect, the reclaimed land will be of higher pastoral value than the current gully area.
As with other areas of the New Zealand Steel site, there is a full ground water and surface water monitoring plan. The community air monitoring station (including one situated at Glenbrook School) monitors dust levels in the community. Any elevated results are investigated to find a possible cause and resolve any issues associated with NZS activities.
All water seeping from the NZS landfills is pumped to the main site for treatment before reuse or discharge.
Aquifer Quality Recognized
Regular monitoring shows the shallow groundwater below the existing Brookside Road Landfill is not affected. This is a measure of the effective landfill design and the quality of the landfills' day-to-day management.The liner system, seepage collection and treatment system have been effective in maintaining groundwater quality.
For More Information:
For more information on New Zealand Steel waste and environmental management refer to the New Zealand Steel Resource Kits