On-farm rubbish disposal

On-farm rubbish disposal must not impact on water or air quality. Good practice includes recycling, reuse and weekly rubbish collections.

Key points

  • Recycling is the only environmentally sustainable option for hay and silage wraps and other plastics.
  • Care needs to be taken to avoid odour and seepage when burying dead stock and other refuse in pits.
  • There are restrictions on what you are able to burn.

What you need to ensure

Disposal pits

  • Only material from your own farm is disposed of in the pit.
  • The pit is covered with a lid, and a layer of soil or sawdust is added each time any offal or carcass is put in the pit.
  • There is no smell beyond your property boundary.
  • Seepage does not enter any streams, is well away (more than 50m) from any water supply well or spring, and is more than 25m away from any stream.

If you can meet these requirements, you will not need a resource consent.

Burning rubbish & vegetation

  • The rubbish you're burning must not contain treated wood or sawdust, waste oil, tyres, or chlorinated plastics.
  • The smoke or fumes must not cause significant environmental effects or cause nuisance beyond your property boundary.
  • Only non-chlorinated haylage and silage wrap can be burned.

If it is unlikely that you can meet these requirements, you must apply for a resource consent.

  • If you need to burn vegetation, you can generally do so without a resource consent, as long as smoke is minimised to avoid effects on other people, the environment, soiling of property, visibility, or traffic.

If you cannot meet this requirement, you may be required to take action to reduce the problem or stop the burning altogether, or you may need a resource consent.

The Council’s Regional Air Quality Plan has a section on good management practices for burning vegetation:

Good management practices for burning vegetation

There may be restricted fire seasons or fire bans in place, and you may need a fire permit from the Department of Conservation or your District Council (as the local fire authority). Contact your local district council, or Department of Conservation.