Burwood Resource Recovery Park was re-opened after the earthquakes in 2011 to handle demolition waste. The city’s earthquake waste is sorted here and the Park will operate until 2017.

Christchurch has had an unprecedented amount of construction and demolition waste to deal with following the region’s earthquakes. Since September 2010, Burwood Resource Recovery Park (BRRP) has sorted, processed and recycled 350,000 tonnes of building rubble, with another 150,000 tonnes of demolition waste expected as the rebuild continues.

Continuing earthquake processing and disposal activities at Burwood Resource Recovery Park and Burwood Landfill

Update April 2016

The Minister for Earthquake Recovery has amended the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) and proposed Canterbury Air Regional Plan (pCARP) to include an additional area at Burwood Resource Recovery Park for the permanent disposal of earthquake waste.

The amendment also includes the ongoing operation of Burwood Landfill for the disposal of earthquake waste through to 2021.

This means “Area G” will no longer be required for the permanent disposal of residual earthquake waste. The Minister’s decision will enable the northern “Area B”, where the material is currently stockpiled, to be used as the final disposal area, after the “Area A” landfill extension on the north side of  the old landfill is full later this year.

A resource consent application and process to consent Area B will still need to be made, as the Minister’s decision only removes the prohibitions that previously existed on using that area for permanent disposal.

Area B was the strong preference expressed by the local residents in the recent consent process consultation.

These amendments are available to view on Environment Canterbury's website.

Amendment to the LWRP(external link)

Amendment to pCARP(external link)

Burwood Resource Recovery Park site map

Resource consents lodged 

In December 2015, the Council and Burwood Recovery Park Ltd  applied for resource consents to extend Burwood Resource Recovery Park and landfill operations to 31 December 2021.

This is needed because of higher than expected volumes of earthquake waste. The recent fire in a recovered timber area at the landfill has halted recovery operations there and a solution is needed to address this.

As in 2012, the resource consent proposal includes ‘controlled activities,’ meaning the resource consents cannot be declined under the Resource Management Act 1991 (subject to conditions to manage environmental effects). However, the Council was keen to receive feedback and suggestions from residents on areas of concern and proposed mitigation factors.

Rehabilitation of the site and landscaping will take place progressively over the next five years and be fully completed by 31 December 2021.

Feedback stage

The Council welcomed feedback and suggestions on its resource consents proposal. This stage has now closed. All written feedback was considered and submitted with the resource consent applications. 

Following the consultation process, including the community information sessions at the Parklands
Baptist Community Church on 17 and 18 November 2015, written comments were received from 86 persons.
The issues raised broadly fell into the following categories:
1. Preference for permanent disposal at Site B rather than Site G;
2. Loss of recreational area and values;
3. Potential impacts on amenity (traffic, dust, odour, noise, visual);
4. Potential impacts on human health; and
5. Fire risk.

Comments and the response [PDF, 614 KB] of BRRP Ltd and Christchurch City Council as resource consent applicants


Following the Canterbury Earthquakes, BRRP was set up to sort and recycle building demolition wastes. Burwood Landfill was also reopened to receive leftover waste from the BRRP operations, and other earthquake waste.

In September 2012, BRRP Ltd and the Council were granted resource consents for these activities. These consents were for five years and expire in September 2017.



The old Burwood Landfill and three smaller nearby areas have been identified as the best site for this temporary processing facility as:

  • the site is just eight kilometres from the city centre and close to the worst-affected areas in the city’s east, allowing easy transportation;
  • the site does not pose a risk to aquifers that supply the city’s drinking water;
  • there are already monitoring measures in place at the old landfill to minimise adverse affects on the environment;
  • transport routes to and from the old landfill are already established;
  • the overall area of the Burwood Resource Recovery Park will only cover one-eighth of Bottle Lake Forest, leaving most of the park open to recreational users.

How the recovery park operates

TransWaste Canterbury has developed the site and operates the sorting area. Under Civil Defence approvals, work on access roads and security fencing was completed to ensure the site could be safely operated.

Transwaste Canterbury Limited has assumed all financial and operational risks involved in operating the facility. They are required to return the site to its pre-4 September 2010 condition once activity at the site is completed in 2017.

Traditionally, the sorting of construction and demolition waste is considered a high-risk business due to the large costs borne by the contractor. The Council successfully found a contractor to take on this job at very short notice during the peak of the city’s earthquakes.  The business model used by the contractor has been audited by The Office of the Auditor General and found that the rates being charged represent a fair return to a contractor undertaking this type of business risk.

Resource consents

In June 2012, Christchurch City Council and BRRP Ltd (a subsidiary company of Transwaste Ltd) applied for resource consents to process and recycle earthquake waste at BRRP, and permanently dispose of earthquake waste at Burwood Landfill. 

Resource consents were granted on September 19, 2012, with conditions to address residents' concerns about vehicle noise and dust. The consents' conditions include moving the road further from residents' properties and constructing an acoustic fence to reduce noise and dust. 

Resource consent decision documents