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Matamata - M1 Introduction

M1.1 Waste management services in Matamata District

M1.1.1 Regional overview

The Matamata–Piako District has an area of 182,150 hectares of mostly flat land.1 It is a well-established dairying, horse-breeding and cattle-fattening area in the eastern Waikato, and these rural industries are the principal economic activities in the area.

The usually resident population of the district in the 2006 census was 30,483. The three main centres of population are Matamata, Morrinsville and Te Aroha. Overall, the district’s population declined slightly between 1996 and 2001, but the population of the main towns has been steadily increasing. The population of Matamata township at the 2006 census was 6309.2

A high proportion of waste generated within the Matamata–Piako District is disposed of at facilities within the district, or at Tirohia Landfill in Hauraki District, which adjoins Matamata–Piako. The district has three council-owned and -operated transfer stations, located in Matamata, Morrinsville and Waihou, which accept waste primarily from the surrounding areas. Waste from the three transfer stations is transported to the Tirohia Landfill.

The transfer stations are owned and maintained by Matamata–Piako District Council and operated under contract by HG Leach & Co Ltd. The Tirohia Landfill is owned and operated by HG Leach & Co Ltd.

M1.1.2 Waste services for the residential sector

A range of refuse disposal services are available to residents of the Matamata–Piako District. The district council provides a weekly collection of refuse and recycling to about 8000 households, including about 2600 residential properties in Matamata township. Refuse is collected from the kerbside in official council refuse bags (the council provides each household with 52 bags per annum). Bags are collected by the council’s contractor, EnviroWaste Services Ltd, who transport the bags to a transfer station or directly to landfill. The council collection from the Matamata area is disposed of at Matamata Transfer Station.

Domestic recycling is collected weekly from the kerbside by the council. Rated properties are provided with a recycling crate for this purpose, and plastic bags may be used for surplus material. The following materials are accepted by the recycling collectors: glass bottles and jars, aluminium and steel cans, and plastic containers (types 1 and 2). Bundled paper and cardboard are also collected. The collection of recycling is undertaken by EnviroWaste Services Ltd and the materials are transported to transfer stations for consolidating loads for further transport.

Private waste operators also provide kerbside collections of domestic waste, using 240-litre wheelie bins. Although these services are used primarily by rural residents, who are not serviced by the council collection, they are also used by some urban residents. Two private operators that collect in the Matamata area dispose of waste at Matamata Transfer Station.

Gantry skip bins3 are also available to residents for the disposal of large quantities of refuse. Currently, one gantry bin operator disposes of waste at Matamata Transfer Station.

M1.1.3 Waste services for the commercial sector

The council refuse and recycling collections are provided to about 650 commercial properties in the district, including about 200–250 in Matamata township.

Other than through the council collection, businesses dispose of their waste either by using one of the services provided by the private waste operators or by transporting it themselves directly to a transfer station. Privately operated front-load bin trucks service most of the commercial sector in Matamata township. Waste collected by these trucks is disposed of directly to Tirohia Landfill.

Some commercial, institutional and industrial waste in Matamata is disposed of using gantry skip bins, which are taken to Matamata Transfer Station by a private waste operator.

M1.1.4 Matamata Transfer Station

The Matamata Refuse Transfer and Recycling Station (which opened in 1997) is located about five kilometres south-east of Matamata, on State Highway 24, on the site of a closed landfill. The facility is open Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

All vehicles entering the station pass over a weighbridge. Each vehicle that crosses over the weighbridge is categorised by the weighbridge operator using codes to describe the type of vehicle, origin of the load and/or material type. Small loads are not weighed but charged at a flat rate. Vehicles with large loads are weighed when entering and again when departing, and are charged by the tonne for disposal. Refuse charges at the transfer station are given in Table M1.1.

Table M1.1: Transfer station charges, August 2007

Vehicle Charges
Sorted approved recyclables Refuse Green waste Scrap steel
Car Free $105 per tonne;
minimum charge $5
$1.00 per bag or equivalent  
Ute, station wagon, single-axle trailer Commercial quantities by prior arrangement only $105 per tonne;
minimum charge $12
$40 per tonne;
minimum charge $6
$45 per tonne;
minimum charge $8
Tandem axle, high-side trailer, commercial Commercial quantities by prior arrangement only $105 per tonne;
minimum charge $20
$40 per tonne;
minimum charge $15
$45 per tonne;
minimum charge $8

In front of the weighbridge is a forecourt area where vehicles can unload recyclable materials into a series of clearly labelled bins. In this forecourt area there is also a drop-off point for small numbers of bags of domestic refuse. Commercial quantities of recyclables, such as cardboard, are not accepted at the forecourt without prior arrangement.

Within the facility itself there are separate drop-off points for lawn clippings, other garden waste, whiteware, rubble and steel. The metals and rubble are removed from the site by contractors. A vertical composting unit (VCU) was installed on the site by a private contractor, and is now operated by HG Leach & Co Ltd. The VCU is used for processing waste eggs from local poultry farms, and uses the green waste collected at the transfer station as a bulking agent.

A hazardous waste/dangerous goods shed has been installed for storing potentially hazardous materials. Weighbridge operators ask customers dropping off these items to place them to the side of the tipping shed for later sorting and placement in the hazardous goods shed.

The refuse transfer facility itself is a large concrete shed, open on one side. Refuse is unloaded from vehicles onto the tipping floor. Refuse on the tipping floor is regularly transferred into one of two 30 cubic metre skips at either end of the shed with a loader. The loader is operated on an as-needed basis by facility staff. The skips are transported to Tirohia Landfill by HG Leach & Co for final disposal of the refuse.

M1.1.5 Special waste

No special waste is disposed of at Matamata Transfer Station. There are wastewater treatment plants at Matamata, Morrinsville and Te Aroha that generate sewage sludge. At the time of writing (2008), the sludge from all three is contained within the treatment lagoons and is not being landfilled or otherwise disposed of. Screenings from the wastewater treatment plants are disposed of at Tirohia Landfill.

Road maintenance undertaken by Kaimai Valley Services, a council business unit, generates road sweepings and cesspit cleanings. The waste is stockpiled at a depot and periodically trucked to a local overburden4 site for disposal.

M1.2 Data analysis and reporting

Data analysis and reporting are based on the classification and structure of waste flows shown in Figure M1.1. The diagram illustrates the four activity sources that comprise the general waste stream being discharged at the Matamata Transfer Station (ie, construction and demolition, industrial/commercial/institutional, landscaping and earthworks, and residential). The combination of this general waste stream with the waste from public and private kerbside collections together make up the overall residual waste that is disposed of to the transfer station.

Figure M1.1: Waste flows at Matamata Transfer Station

The diagram illustrates the four activity sources that comprise the general waste stream being discharged at the Matamata Transfer Station (i.e. C&D, ICI, landscaping and earthworks, and residential).  The combination of this general waste stream with the wastes from public and private kerbside collections together make up the overall residual waste that is disposed of to the transfer station.

From the data collected directly by the visual survey, it was possible to generate information on the:

  • proportion, by number of vehicle loads and by weight, and composition of waste from each activity source

  • proportion, by number of vehicle loads and by weight, and composition of waste being carried by each vehicle type

  • tonnage and composition of the general waste stream entering the facility during the survey period

  • tonnage and composition of the overall waste stream entering the facility during the survey period.

The data analysis process started with obtaining the complete weighbridge records from the facility for the period of the survey. Initially the weighbridge data was used to obtain the net load weights of the vehicles that were surveyed. These were used to calculate the weight of the different materials included in each load. After removal of kerbside collections, this data was amalgamated to provide the composition of the general waste stream disposed of at the tipping floor.

Based on the classifications of waste loads used by the weighbridge, the weighbridge data for the audit period was then analysed to determine the quantities of specific identifiable waste streams, such as council kerbside collections. Individual private vehicles disposing of kerbside collections were identified from the survey results, and the weekly tonnage of those vehicles was calculated from the weighbridge records.

The composition of the overall residual waste stream was calculated by amalgamating the compositions of the separate component waste streams in proportion to their presence in the overall residual waste stream.

Statistical analysis was undertaken to determine the margins of error for waste disposed of at the tipping floor. By contrast, it was not possible to determine confidence intervals for the overall residual waste stream, because its composition includes assumed compositions for kerbside collections (Appendix M1).

1 All information in this section has been taken from the websites of Matamata District Council and Environment Waikato.

3 Gantry bins are commonly used for the removal of waste from construction sites, industrial sites or residential properties. Gantry bins are left at the site until removed by a purpose-built vehicle. The most common gantry bins have a capacity of 9 cubic metres, but smaller and larger bins are available.

4 Overburden: the soil, rock or other material that covers a mineral deposit. Overburden may consist of material that has little or no economic value.