There is very little light at the end of the rubbish dump tunnel for Cambridge residents irate over the lengthy ‘temporary’ closure of the local tip.
The Cambridge Transfer Station in Matos Segedin Drive has been closed since last August. A notice fixed to the locked gate says the site will be closed until further notice and suggests people travel to Hamilton to dump their rubbish. The area behind the gate looks like a wasteland, with broken glass and the lack of activity suggesting there will be no change to the status quo any time soon.
Meanwhile, frustration among residents continues to build, particularly as lockdown and the summer break sees many of them use the time to have a clear-out at home.
Some of the anger is being directed towards the Waipā District Council.
Council transportation manager Bryan Hudson said EnviroWaste owns and manages the Cambridge Transfer Station as a private business.
“I understand the station is closed for repairs or necessary safety works. We have been in contact with EnviroWaste about the illegal dumping occurring outside the closed station.”
He said council was keen to see the station reopened.
Dot and Barry Harding have, for months have been taking their waste to the Te Awamutu transfer station. They said while they understood the closure was related to repairs being done, there was no evidence of any action.
“The weeds are growing through the driveway. Obviously, there is nothing being done,” said Barry.
EnviroWaste spokesperson Georgie Hills confirmed the site had been closed since August.
“Coming out of lockdown, we took a look at the facility with fresh eyes and made a call that it needs to be upgraded before it can reopen to the public,” she said. “The site remains closed while we consider our next steps. We are assessing some upgrades in order to improve the service to our customers and site safety. We’re in discussion with Waipā District Council about progressing these plans.
“People have the option to take their waste and recycling to our Resource Recovery Centre in Lincoln St in Hamilton. We know this is out of the way for locals, and we apologise for the inconvenience.”
Dot Harding’s call for community input netted almost 90 comments.
Cathy Tuck, who drives her waste to Morrinsville, said she had not used the Cambridge facility for over two years because of the cost.
Thoughts around other options included a food waste collection bin, or a USA-like service where the fire department put a skip out twice a year for discarded material. Calls are also being made for a temporary solution to be put in place.
Val Morgan moved to Cambridge last September, and says it is costly to drive to Hamilton each week.
“People are dumping rubbish bags and stuff at Waipuke Park and outside the gate of the rubbish tip. Every town has to have a rubbish tip – it would be great to get this sorted.”
One contributor who has clearly mastered the art of disposal said a tip was just an excuse to throw away more good stuff.
Eric Hillerton said: “We manage what we buy, compost the organic material and use the yellow and blue bins. Also, we support Urban Miners, use Countdown for soft plastics and Mitre 10 for polystyrene. We put out a yellow bag about once every three months.”