A proposal to extend the life of the Hartland landfill, which involves an expansion entailing the destruction of more than 70 trees is being contemplated by the CRD.
The priority should be firstly to reuse as much as possible of the materials that arrive at Hartland.That means devoting more resources to a free store and/or cheap reusable emporium, backed up by staff capable of inspecting and sorting reusable materials, including wood from demolitions and renovations, with some recompense for materials brought in a good condition.
In the case of materials such as framing wood, this would be thereby excluded from gasification or the landfill. It might end up in anything from sheds to work benches and beyond.
The second priority should be the gasification of all suitable feedstock that remains.
Expanding the dump at the cost of living trees in this case in particular is a retrograde absurdity. It should be established where and how big gasification systems should be placed to deal with the likely supply of feedstock after separation of reusables, and with the environmental costs of transporting wastes further distances than necessary.
The fallacy of pursuing sunk cost projects needs to be avoided as much as possible, and the obsession with short-term savings to the taxpayer must end. We should be on a war footing to lower our footprint, our population reproduction rate, our emissions, and increase our GHG sequestrations.
Addressing the Hartland’s future direction responsibly with a long view in mind is one of the opportunities the CRD has to shine with the leadership we so urgently need.