Buller District Council

More help for the clean up

22nd July, 2021

Media Release
22 July 2021
11:45 hours

More help for the clean up

The Buller District Council has made the Westport transfer station free of charge to dispose of flood damaged goods only until Saturday. This is to help residence from the flood-affected areas.

In addition, Buller District Council contractors, supported by NZ Defence Force staff are operating a kerbside collection service to pick up household waste from flood damaged houses in Westport and Carter’s Beach.

This includes flood damaged household goods: white ware, furniture, carpets, clothing, underlay, curtains and flood-damaged building material from Thursday 22 July to Saturday 24 July, 8am – 4pm.

Next week there will be another sweep of Westport and Carters Beach to pick up any flood-related waste that has not been removed this week.

Buller District Mayor Jamie Cleine says “Both the kerbside collection and the transfer station are free of charge which will mean that rubbish can be cleared from flood-affected areas in a timely way.

“I realise that clearing flood damaged items from homes is a distressing job and we want to support everyone who is in this position to be able to take their items to the transfer station without incurring costs.”

If you need help moving flood related household waste, please contact the Buller Emergency Operations Centre on 03 789 799 and they will dispatch volunteers to give you a hand.

“Our priority is to get people back into their homes as soon as possible and we thank all the volunteers and agencies who are helping with the clean-up that will work towards this goal.

“I ask that everyone is considerate of people who have to deal with this dreadful task of disposing of personal items from their damaged homes. Please only use the transfer station if you have flood-damaged items to dispose of.

“To help our kerbside collectors please sort items into piles of types of rubbish and place them on the berm, leave the road and drains clear, and enough space to use the footpath.”

Ring 03 789 799 if you need help shifting items out to the berm.

If you are unsure weather any items are hazardous, ring 03 789 7999 and Fire & Emergency Service staff will assess and remove the waste safely.

If you live outside the collection zones, you can drop off your flood-related waste for free at the Transfer Station 9am – 4pm.

If you live outside the zones and need a hand with bringing your waste to the transfer station ring
03 789 7999 and our amazing volunteers will help.

Mayor Jamie Cleine says “Our waste management team at the EOC has been working hard to get this crucial operation underway efficiently and quickly involving many agencies and service providers including BDC, SmartEnvironmental Ltd, Westreef Services, New Zealand Defence Force, and our landfill providers.


Media contacts

EOC Public Information Management Officer

027 246 2588


Key information when returning into your flood affected house

Cleaning up after a flood

  • People must use personal protective equipment (PPE) if they handle items that have been in contact with flood water.
  • Treat all flood water as being contaminated.
  • If your house has water in it, and the power is still on, please leave your house immediately and contact Buller Electricity, as there is a serious risk of electrocution.
  • If you have had water in your house, there is potentially a serious risk of electrical hazard, and you need to get an electrician to check this before using any power.
  • Flood damaged houses will have power disconnected by Buller Electricity until Homeowners can ensure it is safe to electrically re-connect. Home owners need to contact an electrician to make the necessary checks and obtain a Certificate of Compliance from their electrician.
  • Please call BEL on 03 788 9904 with enquiries. IF IN DOUBT, STAY OUT!
  • Clean and dry your house and everything in it. Floodwater can make the air in your home unhealthy. This is because when things get wet for more than two days they usually get mouldy and there may also be germs and bugs in your home after a flood.
  • Mould may make some people with asthma, allergies or other breathing problems sick.
  • Protect yourself by wearing a certified respirator, goggles, gloves, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and boots or work shoes.
  • Throw away anything that was wet with flood water and can’t be cleaned.
  • Throw away any wooden spoons, plastic utensils, and baby bottle teats and dummies if they have been covered by floodwater. There is no way to safely clean them.
  • Disinfect metal pans and utensils by boiling them in clean water.

Food safety after a flood

  • Throw away food and drinking water that has come into contact with floodwater, including canned goods.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated. Follow any boil water notice instructions from your local authorities.
  • For more information on food safety during and after an emergency visit the Ministry for Primary Industries website.


  • If your home, car or contents have been damaged by the severe weather, take photos before you remove or repair anything and report it to your insurance company as soon as possible.
  • You only need to contact your insurance company and they’ll let you know what you need to do next, how to claim and – if applicable – how EQC cover works.
  • If you need to make your home safe, sanitary, secure and weather tight, please record the work done, take before and after photos, and keep copies of the bills you paid.


  • Emergencies caused by floods are usually unexpected, sudden and can be overwhelming. It’s natural to feel emotionally and physically drained. If you need to talk to someone free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day. You’ll get to talk to (or text with) a trained counsellor or talk to a peer support worker.

Collection Zone maps


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