Log In

Reset Password

Cedenco apology over pollution of waterway

Cedenco has expressed deep regret at events that resulted in the company’s recent prosecution in the Gisborne Environment Court, for pollution caused in the Dunstan Road drain in August last year and last February.

The company was last week fined $86,250 by Environment Court judge Brian Dwyer, $67,500 of it for breaching a resource consent, at the company’s Dunstan Road waste site.

The other $18,750 was for breaching an abatement notice, issued by Gisborne District Council last April, after the company polluted the same waterway last February.

Leachate from a stockpile of corn waste escaped down a ditch which had been dug to clear surface water, into the Dunstan Road drain.

“We deeply regret these incidents and we thank the local community in Dunstan Road for their understanding and patience,” said Cedenco managing director Tim Chrisp.

“We apologise for the impact that the storage of our corn silage in that location has had on them.”

Mr Chrisp said in a normal processing season at the Innes Street factory, the company produced 40,000-50,000 metric tonnes of vegetable by-products, the majority of which was corn husks and leaves.

“This material is currently sold as silage to farmers and provides a valuable, cost-effective source of animal nutrition.

“However, in a season like last year, when there was an abundance of rain and grass, farmers were not able to take the silage at the daily volume that is generated from the factory, so it needed to be stockpiled somewhere.

“If this process is not managed correctly there is a risk of leachate, as occurred in this instance,” he said.

“We are pleased to advise there will be no stockpiling of sileage in 2020 as the company has entered a new supply agreement with a large dairy corporate outside the district that will replace imported palm kernel with our stock food.

“This will take the surplus that cannot be delivered daily to local farmers.”

Mr Chrisp said for the longer term they had been exploring alternative uses for factory by-products, and had recently completed a full investigation collaborating with other local by-products producers and regional development entities.

“One potential solution is the development of an anerobic digestion facility which would convert district green wastes into biogas and fertiliser.

“Biogas can be used in our boilers as an alternative to natural gas, creating a circular economy,” he said.

“We want to assure the whole of the Tairawhiti that as a team of people working and living in the community, everyone in Cedenco is fully committed to the long-term sustainability of our local environment.

“We are proud of our achievements in the community supporting many local environmental projects but, on this occasion, we let ourselves down and take responsibility for our failure to meet our own values and the standards the community expects of us.”