Stench in Christchurch's Bromley to clear after decade of 'unlivable' smell as organic processing plant to be moved

The air is finally clearing in a Christchurch suburb that has battled with the stench of the city’s organic waste for more than a decade.     

Christchurch City Council has voted to move the organic processing plant from Bromley to south Hornby by late 2026.  

Vickie Walker lives near Christchurch's organics processing plant and it’s making her sick.  

“My health is crappy, it’s got worse and it’s been unlivable not being able to enjoy life,” Walker told Newshub.  

She provided a letter from her doctor explaining why she couldn’t make her own deputation at Wednesday's council meeting.  

"Multiple bouts of chest infection," the letter read.   

Her doctor also shared Walker had legionnaires' disease.   

"I am very concerned about the adverse effects of compost on Vickie's health." 

Walker isn't the only one suffering.  

"This Christmas will be the 14th without clean air, it must be the last Christmas spent like this," one Christchurch resident told the council meeting.  

The plant receives 60,000 tonnes of garden and food waste each year, emitting foul odour frequently. 

Residents have tirelessly campaigned for clean air. 

"It's draining, it's demoralising - [like] hitting your head against a brick wall," Walker said.  

On Wednesday, those residents finally received an apology.  

"I'm so sorry for the hurt we've caused over the years,” Hornby councillor Mark Peters said.  

Ecogas will now process the organics 20 kilometres away in an industrial area in south Hornby. It will be fully enclosed and the council said there will be no odour. The cost can be met through existing budgets like the long-term plan.  

"This is a major milestone today but we're still not at the end of the journey of making things right in the community," Linwood councillor Yani Johanson said.   

The journey won't end until it's operational at the end of 2026.  

In the meantime, the kerbside organics will still be processed at Bromley - but inside tunnels before being transported to the landfill.  

That will be after the heat of summer, when the stench is strongest.