Specialist consultants will arrive at the old Atawhai landfill over the next few weeks to map and monitor the closed rubbish dump.
The dump operated for over 40 years before being closed in 1987 when the York Valley landfill was opened.
When the landfill was closed, the area was capped with cover materials and now has to be mapped and tested for the presence of any gases that naturally develop as old landfill material breaks down.
The work will include determining the thickness and quality of the landfill cover through drilling a series of hand-dug boreholes and installing nine monitoring wells to help measure landfill gases such as methane.
Residents have been informed, and in some cases, access to their properties has been sought in order to carry out these tests.
Once testing is complete, the Nelson City Council will have the information required to put together a long-term management of the closed landfill.