A record fine for illegally dumping heavily contaminated demolition material in Canterbury has highlighted problems with the cost of disposing of earthquake rubble.
Canterbury Greenwaste Processors and its director, and farming company Coutts Island Holdings, have been ordered to pay a total of over $153,000 in fines by a Christchurch District Court judge. The penalty was a record in Canterbury for this type of offending
In his decision, Judge Kellar said a significant issue was the attempt to avoid a $1.9 million bill to deposit 5000 cubic metres of material in a local landfill.
Demolition contractor Peter Ward says the $120 per tonne fee to dispose of waste the Burwood Resource Recovery Park is twice as high as anywhere else in the country.
As a result, he says, many contractors either illegally bury or burn their rubble, but the fine shows the risk of doing so is too great.
Canterbury Regional Council says the temptation for those in the demolition and waste industry to save costs and increase profits by inappropriate waste disposal is of great concern in the region's current environment.
The region is having to deal with the volume of waste it would normally see over a 40 year period in as little as three to five years.