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Updated 7 November 2016 11:13am

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Cleanfills are a type of landfill which only accepts material that is free from any contamination. This ‘ clean’ material is identified in ‘A Guide to the Management of Cleanfills (2002)’ and includes: clay, rock, (uncontaminated) soil and some building materials. This material should have no bad effects on people or the environment after it has been buried.

New requirements for cleanfilling are given in the Proposed Natural Resources Plan (PNRP) to promote good management practice. It is important that cleanfills only contain material that is ‘clean’, (no hazardous waste), and are well sited and managed. Cleanfill sites are not designed in the same way as landfills – they don’t have leachate collection systems for example, to protect the environment from potential negative impacts.  Poorly managed cleanfills can release pollutants into groundwater or surface water, which is one of the reasons for the requirement (below) to keep records available regarding the volume and origin of the material placed into the cleanfill.

What you need to know about cleanfills

Cleanfilling is a permitted activity under the PNRP,  see: Rule 70 Cleanfills. This means that no resource consent is needed from Greater Wellington, provided the cleanfill meets all of the following conditions:

  • it is far enough away (at least 20m) from any waterway, or water supply bore
  • it is not in an area that floods or can be undermined or eroded by natural processes
  • has plenty of clearance from the bottom of the cleanfill site to the groundwater level (at least 0.6m)
  • has a total volume which is not more than 100 m3
  • is well managed, see The Ministry for the Environment’s A Guide to the Management of Cleanfills’which outlines siting, design and operation considerations for cleanfill sites
  • can be mapped and this information made available to  Greater Wellington upon request. You will also need to keep a record of the total volume, the origin of the cleanfill material and the date each load of cleanfill material was dumped
  • is covered and re-vegetated within six months of the site being filled.
  • Advice

    To find out if you need a resource consent or if you are unsure about any of the requirements, please contact Greater Wellington, or 0800 496 734.

    Additional approval may be needed from your local city or district council. Please contact them directly if you need advice:

  • Masterton District Council, 06 370 6300,
  • South Wairarapa District Council, 06 306 9611,
  • Carterton District Council, 06 379 4030,
  • Upper  Hutt, 04 527 2169,
  • Lower Hutt, 04 570 6666 ,
  • Wellington City Council, 04 499 4444,
  • Porirua City Council, 04 237 5089
  • Kapiti Coast District Council,  04 2964700,

    This information is intended to provide a guideline to the requirements of the Proposed Natural Resources Plan for the Wellington Region. Please also be aware of the requirements in the current operative plan as well as the provisions mentioned in this user guide.


    Sources used: