Bustling tip open for business

Loving Level 2 .. Ron McDonnell rakes hedge clippings from his trailer at Green Waste in Burnside on the first day of Alert Level 2 last week. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Hedges and hair got the heave-ho after Dunedin entered Alert Level 2 last week.

Ron McDonnell, of Waldronville, said he tore out a hedge from his home during Alert Level 4 and waited for landfills to reopen in Alert Level 2 before he dumped it.

When he arrived at Green Waste in Burnside on the first day of Level 2 last week, he was surprised to discover the landfill had been opened in Level 3.

“Otherwise I would have been up here earlier.”

He was enjoying the freedoms allowed in Level 2.

Before visiting the landfill, he got a haircut in Green Island.

“That was first on the list.”

Green Waste customer service representative Mike Jack said the tip had been open since the nation entered Alert Level 3 on April 28.

The first days after reopening were “insane”, he said.

To operate in Level 3, the business introduced strict safety measures such as contactless payment and contact tracing.

Many people wrongly believed the business would reopen in Alert Level 2 so it was busy again last week.

Dunedin City Council waste and environmental solutions group manager Chris Henderson said the Green Island landfill had “a noticeable jump in visitors dropping off waste and recycling in recent days”.

More than 1600 people visited the landfill in the first four days of Level 2.

The busiest day in those four days was Saturday, when 435 people visited.

At the same time last year, up to 200 people visited the landfill daily.

The decision to keep the landfill closed during Alert Level 3 was made in consultation with the council’s contractor and was consistent with advice from Government and the local government sector, Mr Henderson said.

“It was agreed opening the landfill to the general public would have been inconsistent with Covid-19 Alert Level 3 guidance from Government, which was that people should still stay home and avoid non-essential travel.”