The wellbeing and quality of life of our residents is our priority. We want to be part of the wider solution around minimising odour in Bromley and we’re committed to working with Environment Canterbury and our operators to achieve this.

Subscribe to the Bromley odour newsletter

Also, check our Council Facebook page to stay in touch with what is happening.

We're working to minimise odour from our Bromley sites

In response to the findings presented by Environment Canterbury, we have been working with Living Earth and EcoCentral to develop an action plan [PDF, 799 KB] outlining potential short, medium and long-term options to mitigate odour at these two facilities. You can view a summary of the action plan [PDF, 377 KB] or read more about what we're doing below.

Our contractors are carrying out trials, along with increased monitoring of odour levels and data collection, to determine what options are the most effective. They have also got independent experts to review the pilot study findings and their onsite activities to provide further recommendations.

Over the next three months, while the trials are underway, the odour may be stronger or weaker on different days. It’s really important that if you live in Bromley, and you smell an odour, report it via the Smelt-It mobile app(external link), as this helps us capture information about what’s working and what’s not.

All operational changes and trials that our contractors are doing will be completed by the end of August 2020. At that time we’ll be working with them, and Environment Canterbury, to determine how effective the changes have been.

As outlined in our action plan [PDF, 799 KB] (external link)we're working with our contractors Living Earth and EcoCentral on potential short, medium and long-term options to mitigate odour at these two facilities. 

Part of the plan involves monthly progress reports during the three-month trial period, outlining the changes made at both facilities, along with next steps. Environment Canterbury is also producing a monthly review of the odour reports they receive. 

Our monthly report, and a link to Environment Canterbury's, will be posted below during the trial.





The unidentified odour in Bromley has been a longstanding issue for the community, and one which has remained complex to investigate. We have a long history of working with Environment Canterbury to try and locate the sources and trial different approaches.

The Bromley residential area is close to an industrial area with a number of businesses involved in activities such as fish processing, fibreglass manufacture, composting and waste processing and wastewater treatment facilities. The estuary and tidal mudflats are adjacent and border the industrial area.

Getting the evidence to take action around odour is not a simple task due to the number of potential variables involved – including multiple sources of odour, wind, weather, temperature, time, distance and topography.

A 2018 study found that of more than 200 businesses in Bromley, about 60 are potential sources of odour, including Council-owned facilities run by Living Earth, the composting operation, and the EcoCentral-run EcoDrop the transfer station.

Smelt-It app pilot study

In March 2020, Environment Canterbury carried out a pilot study that focused on finding the causes of the long-standing odour issues in Bromley.

It involved involving residents’ reporting incidents of odour via a ‘Smelt-It’ mobile app(external link).

Resident reports were then compared to weather conditions and onsite observations by Environment Canterbury warranted officers and an independent odour assessor, as well as operational data from the Living Earth and EcoDrop facilities.

Environment Canterbury said the pilot study findings (external link)clearly identify the two Council-run facilities as significant odour emitters.

Some of the options the contractors are implementing include:


  • When we receive material with a significant odour, it will be put into containers before regular loading.
  • Moving waste into containers as quickly as possible. Containers are then shipped to Kate Valley Landfill.
  • Maintaining a clear floor in their pit overnight.

Living Earth

  • Looking at the odour treatment they use, as well as how and when it’s applied.
  • Using additional odour misters, which help to suppress odour.
  • Changing the “compost recipe”.

    Composting at the site takes up to three months to mature so we need this timeframe to see if the changes are working. After this time, we should be able to determine how effective these measures are.

Any redevelopment options that may be required, for example upgrading tunnels at the composting plant, covering more of the site or relocating high-risk activities, will be put to the Council for consideration by the end of November 2020.

Bromley odour mitigation timeline

June-August 2020

Operational changes made

Operational changes to mitigate odour are carried out by the Organics Processing Plant and EcoDrop Transfer Station. EcoDrop carry out an independent review of data. 

End of August 2020

Effectiveness of changes assessed

Environment Canterbury and Council to consider how effective the operational changes have been on mitigating odour at the Organics Processing Plant and EcoDrop Transfer Station. 

September-November 2020

Redevelopment options potentially considered

If required, redevelopment options are considered for Organics Processing Plant and EcoDrop Transfer Station. If required, a  resource consent application may be submitted to Environment Canterbury for the EcoDrop Transfer Station. 

End of November 2020

Decision on redevelopment options

If required, a decision will be made by the Council on redevelopment options for the Organics Processing Plant.

From December 2020 onwards

Facility redevelopment option started

If required, the facility redevelopment option starts for the Organics Processing Plant. 

The Living Earth Organics Processing Plant and the EcoCentral Ecodrop are a key part of our city’s waste management system. We own both sites and they are managed by Living Earth and EcoCentral respectively. 

Living Earth Organics Processing Plant

The Organics Processing Plant, operated by Living Earth, processes food and garden waste collected through our green bin kerbside collection service. They also accept green waste dropped off by the public and process food and garden waste from commercial suppliers.

Around 70,000 tonnes of organic material per year is processed through the plant – this is food and green waste that would otherwise go to landfill. The plant turns this organic material into organic certified compost which is then sold to the agricultural sector as a valuable soil improvement.

EcoCentral EcoDrop

There is three public transfer station sites located at Styx Mill, Bromley and Wigram, operated by EcoCentral. Each site allows you to drop off recycling and hazardous waste (household amounts), greenwaste and general rubbish. Residents and businesses can drop items at the EcoDrop 7 days a week from 7am to 4:30pm. Rubbish received at each site is compacted daily into airtight containers and transported to Kate Valley Regional Landfill.