Carterton District elected members will discuss a recommendation to raise charges at the District Transfer station to cover the increasing costs of landfill caused by the recently introduced waste disposal levy and the emissions trading scheme (ETS).

A recommendation at the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday 15 February recommends the price of waste at the Dalefield Road site increase from 1 March.

This is due to fees increasing at Midwest Disposal’s Bonny Glen landfill site. The cost to dispose of a tonne of waste will increase from $200 [incl GST] to $246 [plus GST], reflecting the cost increase driven by the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Midwest Disposals takes waste from Carterton, Masterton, and South Wairarapa Districts to its Bonny Glen landfill in Rangitikei. The current contract elapsed on 31 December 2022. Discussions between the Councils and Midwest Disposals are ongoing.

If fees do not rise, CDC may incur a significant financial deficit, particularly if large commercial providers use Carterton’s transfer station. An increase in fees will ensure the extra cost will fall on those using the facility as opposed to being spread across all ratepayers.

Carterton’s transfer station fees are currently significantly lower than Masterton’s. It is proposed to bring Carterton’s fees in line with those charged by Masterton District Council [MDC].

At the start of this month, MDC increased its transfer station fees in response to the increased costs. 

Since MDCs change, CDC has already had several applications from waste disposal companies to set up accounts at the Carterton transfer station.

Due to the differences in scale of use, Carterton’s transfer station is subsidised by rates. Masterton’s station is 100 per cent user pays.

Fees fund between 31-41% of costs, following CDC’s Revenue and Financing Policy and its 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan. General rates cover the rest. A rates adjustment cannot happen midway through the financial year. Fees can be amended mid-year, but this may not comply with Council policy. 

Midwest has cited increased costs to manage the waste due to an increase in central Government levies. Central Government’s levy and ETS have impacted the costs. The ETS requires landfill operators to buy carbon credits for every tonne of waste. Bonny Glen has gas extraction systems that allow them to reduce the carbon credits they must buy, but they cannot reduce it to nil.

The price of carbon has increased over the last few years from $25 per tonne to $75 per tonne. The ETS cost has been built into the Midwest gate fee to Wairarapa Councils and has been fixed at $13.38 since 2018. Midwest has proposed a new price of $39.80. 

If fees do not rise, CDC would likely incur a significant financial deficit, particularly if large commercial providers start to bring waste to Carterton’s transfer station instead of Masterton’s, said Kelly Vatselias, Corporate Services Manager, Carterton District Council.

“We would not usually seek to implement a rise in costs in the middle of a year, and we always try to keep costs as low as possible for our community.

“However, the recent significant cost rise for all Wairarapa Councils resulted in this recommendation. Further applications for large-scale, commercial use of our transfer station would come at a long-term, and large, cost to our community. This means we must recommend changes quickly.

“We do strongly encourage people to reduce waste to landfill by reducing, reusing, and recycling where possible. The range of recycling services at our transfer station recently expanded to accept soft plastics and batteries, as well as cleaned glass, tin, aluminium, plastic, paper, and cardboard.”

The meeting opens to the public at 1 pm on Wednesday 15 February and will be recorded and posted online later.

  • What is happening? Carterton councillors will discuss a proposed rise in fees for using the landfill part of the Transfer Station.
  • Why is the fee rise being proposed? In response to rising costs from landfill sites, waste levies are rising. The company responsible for managing all Wairarapa’s waste to landfill says this is because of central Government waste levies increasing. There are very few other options across the lower North Island.
  • What are the fees?
Item Current Proposed
Weigh in/out  Landfill waste $200.00 per tonne $246 per tonne (plus GST)
Car boot or SUV (up to 100kg) $17 $29 (incl GST)
Small trailer, van or ute (up to 250kg) $36 $68.20 (incl GST)
Large trailer (up to 500kg) $66 $89.50 (incl GST)


  • Why isn’t there a landfill in Wairarapa we can use? Our current landfill facilities do not meet the resource consent requirements, or size and scale, required to meet the needs of our community.
  • Will the fees rise again? From 1 July, the cost to send waste to landfill will further increase as the Waste Levy is scheduled to increase by another $20/t. As yet, a further cost increase to the end user is not confirmed.
  • Why is it different from Masterton? Masterton District Council have increased the fees on their transfer station in response to the increased costs arising from the new contract. This has meant that fees at Carterton’s transfer station are now significantly lower than at the Masterton transfer station. CDC has already had several applications from waste disposal companies setting up accounts. While Masterton’s transfer station operates on a fully user-pays system (i.e. no rates funding), Carterton’s transfer station costs are significantly subsidised by rates. This is due to the difference in scale of the two operations. Running a fully user-pays transfer station in Carterton would make the cost of waste disposal unaffordable, which is why it has been subsidised by rates. What this means however, is that for every tonne of waste, the transfer station receives, the cost for Council to dispose of it is higher than the fee received from the individual or company disposing of it at the transfer station. While this is planned for at the start of the rating year based on the expected quantities of waste, and the planned level of subsidisation using rates, if quantities of waste were to increase to more than expected, or if costs Council incurs were to increase significantly, we would begin to see an increasing deficit in the solid waste activity.
  • What can I do to make less waste? Our Transfer Station takes a range of materials for recycling for free. This includes cleaned plastics, tin and aluminium, steel, batteries, paper, cardboard, and glass. You can find out more about recycling in Carterton at