Waste Managment has taken the first step towards building a large and controversial rubbish dump in northern Auckland.
The company has lodged a resource consent application with the Auckland Council to build and run a landfill for 35 years in the Dome Valley, a rural area between Warkworth and Wellsford.
It was also seeking a change to the Auckland Council's Unitary Plan which set out development rules for the area.
The dump, 70km north of Auckland's central business district, was opposed by many residents in the area who feared it would leach toxic waste into the land and waterways.
Protest signs were dotted along State Highway ,1 and the group Fight the Tip, Save the Dome regularly held public meetings to rally locals.
Waste Management said the landfill was crucial to meet the needs of a growing city.
It would be built with the latest technology that would stop leaching and would provide 80 jobs, the company said.
There will be a change for the public to make formal submissions later in the year before the council makes a decision.