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28 November 2023

Accuracy is key to deciding energy from waste plant’s future

Hamilton-based company, Global Contracting Solutions (GCS), is on a mission to keep the local Te Awamutu community informed with the latest, most accurate information about their proposal to build an energy from waste (EfW) plant in the area. 


Called Paewira, the proposed plant was recently put out for public feedback as part of the Resource Management Act process, with 900 submissions received by Waipā District Council.  The next stage involves a public hearing in early 2024.


GCS National Business Manager, Roger Wilson says it’s great to see such an engaged and passionate community response from Te Awamutu, and says there were many valid questions raised about the project. 


“There’s a lot of information, and misinformation, around about the project, so it’s important that people have the most up-to-date information and fully understand the proposed EfW plant before making up their minds on the project,” said Wilson. 


“We acknowledge people's concerns and understand there’s a level of apprehension about the proposal, but we want to make sure the facts are easily available so people can make informed decisions by the time the hearing comes around in 2024.”


EfW is a European technology, used in more than 1,700 plants around the world. It has been developed to manage ever increasing global waste problem, created by humans. Most advanced European nations integrate EfW within their Zero Waste Hierarchy:

  • Rethink/Redesign

  • Reduce

  • Reuse

  • Recycle/Compost

  • Material Recovery

  • Residual management (Biological treatment and stabilized landfilling)

  • Unacceptable (Waste deregulation, incineration and EfW). 

EfW is designed to recover energy from waste that is not reusable, recyclable, or recoverable. This includes takeaway pizza boxes and coffee cups, unclean tomato sauce bottles, soft plastics and so on.

If approved, Paewira will operate in the same way as other EfW plants around the globe, with the utilisation of the latest, multi-million dollar German technology designed to efficiently recover energy from non-recoverable waste in a way that minimises the impact on the surrounding environment. 

This includes fully enclosed design and monitoring devices to ensure what goes into the plant doesn’t come out, protecting the nearby stream and the air. State-of-the-art recycling facilities will also ensure anything that can be recycled, will be. An education component will help demonstrate the many aspects of safely extracting material that is not currently recoverable, followed by the safe disposal of non-recoverable materials. 

“Experts are currently working through the submissions to answer people's questions and concerns. The bar is set high, as it should be, with people's health and safety put front of mind throughout the entire process. 

“We do not want to harm people, the land or the surrounding environment – and we don’t want to become the neighbour that nobody wants. 

“What we do want is to increase the volume of material recovered from waste in Aotearoa New Zealand while providing energy security and employment opportunities for Te Awamutu and the Waipā region.”

Wilson would like to thank the community again for the high levels of engagement to date.

“Keep an eye on our website where we will be sharing the latest information in the weeks leading up to the hearing.”

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