From the Chief Executive - A shared modern landfill for the wider Canterbury region

Transwaste Canterbury Limited is a joint venture company which Ashburton District Council has shares in.

The Company's principal activity is to operate and continue to develop the regional Kate Valley Landfill.

Five Canterbury councils (Christchurch, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Selwyn and Ashburton) own 50% of the Company. Waste Management NZ Limited (previously operating as Transpacific Industries Group (NZ) Limited) own the other 50%. Waste Management NZ is now owned by a Hong Kong subsidiary, Beijing Capital Group. The change from Australian ownership earlier this year has not had any direct impact on the governance, management or operation of Transwaste.

Ashburton District Council holds 600,000 of Transwaste's 20,000,000 shares. Selwyn has the same number of shares as we do; Waimakariri has 780,000; Hurunui 240,000; Christchurch 7,780,000; and Waste Management NZ Limited have the remaining 10,000,000 shares.

With the introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 tougher environmental controls saw the closure of old-style dumps throughout New Zealand. A shared modern landfill to cater for the wider Canterbury region made economic sense. Investigations led to Transwaste being formed in 1999. The Company now owns Tiromoana Station, a 2,758 hectare farm in North Canterbury. The farm ended its farming operations in 2008. 1,000 hectares of the farm is designated for the Landfill, although only 37 hectares is set aside for actual landfilling operations.

The Landfill itself opened in 2005. It has a total refuse capacity of approximately 10.5 million tonnes, with a projected life of 35 years. This is based on the assumption that it will receive 820 tonnes of waste a day on average.

Following the Canterbury earthquakes Transwaste purchased Burwood Resource Recovery Park in Christchurch. The Recovery Park is set up as a facility to manage the recycling and disposal of earthquake demolition material and waste. The site is consented to receive up to 750,000 tonnes of earthquake waste.

Canterbury Waste Services Limited (owned by Waste Management NZ) is the main contractor operating at these sites.

With the Global Financial Crisis and its impact on the economy behind us the 2013/14 year saw record tonnages of solid waste being disposed of at Kate Valley. 311,000 tonnes in total – 18% more than last year. Burwood Resource Recovery Park also received an unexpected level of demolition waste for processing (over 10,000 tonnes a month).

Transwaste made a substantial profit last year. It paid its shareholders $10,673,000 (up from $6.9m the year before). Ashburton's dividend was $320,000 ($207,000 received the previous year).

As the Ashburton economy and district grows so too does the amount of waste it creates. Our records show that we sent over 10,200 tonnes of waste to Kate Valley in 2013/14.  That is up on 9,000 tonnes the year before and 8,200 tonnes the year before that. However, we are diverting a greater percentage of our waste from the landfill than we have previously. Last year we diverted 6,490 tonnes of waste or 39% of it. The year before 4,700 tonnes of waste was diverted (34%), and the year before that 3,940 tonnes (32%).

Gate fees at the Landfill cost the Council $1,086,923. There is also the cost of trucking our waste to Kate Valley - $457,491 last year. Under the operating agreement the Council gets back what's called a transportation equalisation payment each year. That amounted to a $144,000 refund for the Council ($127,000 the previous year).

When Kate Valley Landfill is closed sometime around 2040 it will require ongoing aftercare. One revenue stream Transwaste is now developing to pay for some of this aftercare work is gas extraction and utilisation. Last year the Company installed two 1 MW generators at the Landfill at a cost of $2.5m. The generators will supply electricity for the operation of the Landfill and for North Canterbury homes. Expanded gas production and electricity generation is planned next year.

Gill Cox is the Chairman of Transwaste. The Company has 8 Directors. They were paid $200,000 in total for their year's work and will receive $237,840 in fees for the year ending 30 June 2015.

Audit New Zealand charged $72,491 to audit the Company's Annual Report for 2014.

Page reviewed: 24 Dec 2014 8:30am