Following on from Leah Minhinnick’s working bee last week on Alder Road, Waikato District Council have also expressed their frustrations over the illegal dumping in the area.
Customer Support Manager, Sue O’Gorman, says it’s a huge problem and people have had enough.
“Like you, we are completely fed up with people dumping their rubbish. These people are ruining the environment and are costing ratepayers thousands of dollars each year. This money could be spent on other things that would add value to our communities.”
In the last financial year, Council has spent $81,446 on removing illegally dumped rubbish across the local district.
Since the beginning of January 2017, they have received 746 requests to pick up illegal dumping—that’s more than two every day. Of those requests, 109 were from Tuakau.
“In particular, we are having lots of problems with people dumping their rubbish on Les Batkin Reserve and Alder Road, near the Tuakau Bridge, at Hoods Landing and the Elbow Reserve. We’ve had couches, fridges, dead animals, paint, a trailer load of beer bottles. You name it, we’ve had it. It’s disgusting to see the majority of it dumped in, or near, our waterways or down banks. It’s also really disappointing to see the recyclable items dumped.”
Ms O’Gorman explained that while Council can fine anyone who is caught dumping waste illegally, $400, Council is asking for the community’s help to identify those who are responsible.
“We really need people to dob in the dumpers. For Council to take action, we need the community to be our eyes and ears. We urge people to report any dumping they see and to record any details of the vehicles involved, such as registration plate, colour, make and model of the vehicle. For safety reasons, and for us to investigate, we ask that people leave the dumped material as it is and don’t touch it.”
Of those 746 requests, there have been 47 infringements sent out since January this year.
Council states that they can’t issue infringements unless they have sufficient evidence, which is another reason why they need the community’s help.
Upon learning the statistics and figures from Waikato District Council, Leah Minhinnick was appalled of how much time and resources was used to clean up the area.
“I had no idea that they spent so much money on cleaning up someone else’s mess. That is disgusting. We are going to carry on doing what we are doing to clean up our area, but the community really needs to take ownership. There is no need for people to dump their rubbish.”
Leah says that while Council was able to remove most of the household waste that was dumped on Alder Road recently, the team of volunteers on Saturday 9 December still managed to collect two small truck loads of rubbish from the area.
“We are going to make our way out to Karioitahi Beach, and Waiuku, but this is obviously all volunteer work, so it is when we have time. We want to ensure our environment and waterways are looked after, but people also need to start taking responsibility for their actions,” said Leah.
In an effort to combat the illegal dumping, Council will be starting a campaign in the New Year to encourage the community to ‘dob in the dumpers.’ They also have a mobile camera which it is moving around the Waikato district in an attempt to identify people that are illegally dumping rubbish.
How can our readers report illegal dumping? It is as simple as calling Waikato District Council’s freephone on 0800 492 452 any time, or via the Council’s website – www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz
All information that is received is taken in the strictest confidence.
The 746 requests for illegal dumping collection broken down:
· 109 were from Tuakau (includes Elbow Reserve)
· 44 were from Pukekohe
· 34 were from Waiuku (includes Hoods Landing)
· 23 were from Mangatawhiri
· 15 were from Pokeno
· 10 were from Maramarua
· 10 were from Te Kauwhata
· 9 were from Mercer
· 2 were from Bombay
· 2 were from Churchill Road, Pukekawa
· 1 was from Buckland