Hawkes Bay growers are currently trapped in legislative limbo, unsure how to address piles of rubbish they aren’t able to dump, burn or recycle in time for the next harvest. A Ministry for the Environment spokesperson says the possibility of allowing the controlled open-air burning of some waste has been raised with them, and the ministry is drafting an Order in Council to address this for consideration by ministers. Hawke’s Bay regional councilor and orchardist Xan Harding, says the Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Legislation Act, could be a solution to allow growers to selectively burn orchard and vineyard flood waste with pollutants in it. He says Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has estimated the recovery of destroyed orchards and vineyards via recycling would cost $120 million for growers, ratepayers or taxpayers – and that excludes the cost of developing a new landfill site that would be needed to take the chipped mixed waste. Xan Harding says burning certain items is prohibited for good reason, but the clean-up is urgent to quickly recover destroyed orchards and vineyards which will support both growers, their employees, the regional economy and the wider public health.
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