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Residents near Southland's Winton in a stink over proposal to expand main dump

Residents are in a stink over a proposal to expand the district's main dump that is located just kilometres from their Southland community near Winton.

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The landfill is located just kilometres from Winton, and residents aren’t happy. Source: 1 NEWS

AB Lime, which operates the Class A landfill, has applied to take an unlimited amount of rubbish over 35 years from across parts of the South Island, but that has left some residents angry.

Rubbish trucks have rolled in and out of the Southland lime works for nearly two decades and soon there could be more.

AB Lime can take around 100,000 tonnes of rubbish every year, but it has applied to Environment Southland to remove the upper limit restriction completely.

Local resident Katie Allan says the community is “quite disappointed that [AB Lime] let it slip through the radar”.

The company uses the gas produced by the landfill for its quarry drying operations.

It wants to take waste from as far away as Canterbury and the West Coast, saying it would not make the dump any bigger, but it could fill it up faster.

“We understand our rubbish has to go somewhere and we have no problem with AB Lime operating a landfill, but this landfill has been designed just for the Southlanders… so that's what people really dislike,” Allan said.

Southland District Mayor Gary Tong said the company has been “taking rubbish outside the district for a long time even after the earthquakes in Christchurch”.

AB Lime has taken emergency waste, too, which is eating into its annual limit.

“[They have] been under considerable pressure through the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak and the Bonamia Ostrae… so there has been that pressure put on,” said Tong.

Only people within two kilometres of the site were notified of the company's proposal.

“My biggest concern is that nobody has been notified in the public here in Winton, which is only four kilometres away from the landfill… and nobody has been given any opportunity to take part," said Allan.

“[They own] quite a few properties quite close to the boundaries there. I would have thought that should have been extended,” added Tong.

Residents are now having their say through a petition making claims around the negative environmental impact of the plan.

AB Lime declined to appear on camera, but told 1 NEWS in a statement it fundamentally disagrees with contents of the petition but respects people's right to voice their opinions.

The company said it wants to respect the formal consent process which is underway. Environment Southland said at this stage it would be inappropriate to comment further.

“They've [the public] raised their concerns. Let's see if they're heard, let's see what the consent process does,” Tong said.

An independent commissioner will have the final say next month.