Residents dump household rubbish on side of road

By Sam Boyer

Residents in Tauranga and the Western Bay are illegally dumping their rubbish on the roadside around 80 times a month.

Gate Pa resident Maxine Paterson said two separate dumping incidents occurred near her home over the weekend, at a spot she said was notorious for attracting rubbish-dumping fiends.

Ms Paterson, of Grantham Close, noticed the first pile of household refuse on Sunday on the side of the road near the reserve in Tom Muir Drive. And yesterday morning, while driving her children to school, she noticed a second pile, about 30 metres from the first.

"To me, it's not on. I don't see why they can't just take it to the dump. There's just no excuse for it. Even my kids, who are five and eight, they were appalled. They just think it's disgusting," she said.

The rubbish was dumped in two piles, each about a trailer-load in size and included an old gas heater, an extractor fan, a suitcase, drawers, tyres, car doors, old bedding and clothes.

And from a bag of household garbage, several empty beer bottles had been removed and smashed across the pavement, creating a hazard for pedestrians.

"I'd say [the two piles] are from the same people. It's all damp and mouldy and yuck," Ms Paterson said. "It's disgusting ... I mean, it only takes [around $9] to take it to the dump. That's just rude.

"The rest of us pay for a rubbish bag and a recycling bin. It's just laziness."

Ms Paterson said the people dumping the rubbish needed to be held accountable.

Tauranga City Council communications adviser Meaghan Holmes said, on average, council contractors were called to clean up rubbish dumped on the roadside about 50 times a month.

"This included anything from dead animals to dumped rubbish - anything from a shopping bag-full to a trailer load," she said.

Tauranga City Council was looking at changes under the Litter Act that would allow infringement officers to issue fines of up to $400 for dumping rubbish.

Senior Sergeant Glenn Saunders said the dumping of rubbish illegally could attract even greater police penalties.

Depositing litter in public held a maximum penalty of a $5000 fine. Depositing dangerous litter - which was anything considered dangerous, such a glass bottles that could be broken - had a maximum penalty of a $7500 fine and up to one month's imprisonment.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council utilities environmental and compliance officer Ilze Kruis said the council had a dedicated phone line for rubbish drops.

In the past three months the council had received 78 call-outs for illegal dumping, she said.

Where the rubbish could be identified and traced to a property, council enforcement included returning the rubbish to the address, issuing infringement notices, and fines.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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