INCREASED tree felling and thinning around Kawerau will be supported by a new chipping machine next year.

Kawerau District Council agreed to buy a chipper at an estimated cost of $45,000 during a meeting on December 16.

Operations and services manager Tom McDowall said that in 2014 the council spent three days a week felling and thinning trees and this work load was expected to increase in 2015.

Green waste was currently heaped onto a site at the top of the town’s former landfill, where it was left to break down.

Instead of transporting loads of whole trees and branches the waste would be transported once it was processed by the chipper.

Mr McDowall said the chips would be suitable for composting or soil conditioner.

When the chipper is not used for the council’s green waste it will move to the transfer station to chip material brought in during the week.

Mr McDowall said other tree felling companies found chippers made good economic sense to reduce transport and disposal fees.

He estimated the council could save $15,000 if it opted for a secondhand chipper, but this would require more maintenance sooner.

Source: Whakatane Beacon