As part of its responsibility to manage the Marlborough region's environment under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), Marlborough District Council works with local industries to ensure that both solid and liquid waste is managed in a sustainable way. Further controls on solid and liquid waste management are administered under the proposed Wairau/Awatere Resource Management Plan and the Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan.
The wine and dairy industries are important to Marlborough. Both are also industries in which the waste produced must be carefully managed so that it does not have a negative impact on our environment.
Wine production is one of the region's major industries, and sustainable management of winery wastewater and grape marc in two very different settings - industrial and rural wineries - are challenges the industry faces. Wineries in the rural zone discharge their wastewater to land, while wineries in industrial areas discharge their wastewater to municipal council ponds. Grape marc leachate must also be managed appropriately to ensure that the contaminants it contains do not degrade soil, pasture and water quality.
Annually, during vintage, a Council winery wastewater survey is carried out. This survey is vital in monitoring waste management systems and determining the load and effects of winery waste on the environment. Results are available to view online.
See Winery Wastes page
Dairy and the Environment
While Marlborough's dairy industry is relatively small, good dairy effluent management is still vital to protect the region's waterways and environment. Another potential issue in this industry can be contamination of waterways caused by stock crossing streams.
As part of a strategy to work with farmers to achieve a high standard of effluent management, Council undertakes an annual dairy effluent survey. Survey reports can be accessed on line.
See Dairy and the Environment page
Effluent Dump Locations
Tourism is another important industry in Marlborough. Independent travel in motorhomes and caravans is a popular way to see the region both for New Zealand and for visitors from other countries. Disposal of toilet and greywater anywhere other than a Council-approved dump point not only puts the offender at risk of an instant fine or prosecution, but also puts our environment at risk of pollution and effluent contamination.
See Effluent Dump Locations page
Marlborough District Council also provides services for urban waste collection, operates transfer stations for both urban and outlying areas, and offers guidelines and means of disposing of potentially hazardous waste. The Resource Recovery Centre located in Wither Road Extension offers the opportunity to recycle a variety of household materials.