Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Rubbish blights beauty spot

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Tauranga man Geoffrey Shackleford came across a large pile of dumped rubbish at Kaiate Falls. Photo / George Novak
Tauranga man Geoffrey Shackleford came across a large pile of dumped rubbish at Kaiate Falls. Photo / George Novak

One of the Western Bay of Plenty's most prized and beautiful water spots has been marred by people dumping their rubbish.

Tauranga man Geoffrey Shackleford walks at Kaiate Falls every day with his pet labrador but on Friday he was greeted with a large pile of rubbish.

I went to take my dog for a walk and the rubbish was blocking the track.
Geoffrey Shackleford

"I just couldn't believe what I saw," he said.

Rubbish dump.
Rubbish dump.

Broken prams and beer bottles wrapped up in newspaper were among items dumped on the walking track leading down to the bottom part of the bush at the falls.

"I think it's disgusting. I went to take my dog for a walk and the rubbish was blocking the track," Mr Shackleford said.

Mr Shackleford said the rubbish must have been dumped under the cover of darkness.

Mr Shackleford said he was appalled and wanted to shame the offenders to prevent them doing it again.

"These Kaiate Falls are a very beautiful falls and kids enjoy swimming there but we don't need to have people dumping their rubbish," he said.

"It's shocking. It's disgusting. They are ruining a beautiful environment."

Western Bay of Plenty District Council utilities manager Kelvin Hill said the Kaiate Falls dumping was cleaned up by contractors on behalf of the council and it was the first for them in the last 12 months.

"The Kaiate Falls area used to be a hot spot a few years ago," Mr Hill said.

However, there were many cases of illegal dumping nearby at the intersection with Waitao Rd and Welcome Bay Rd.

These Kaiate Falls are a very beautiful falls and kids enjoy swimming there but we don't need to have people dumping their rubbish.
Geoffrey Shackleford

The council was called to at least 14 different dumpings in the Waitao Rd area in 2015. Dumped items included beds, bikes, tyres, carpet and underlay, a palm tree, parts of a couch and a washing machine.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council responds to any reports of rubbish entering waterways.

Pollution prevention team leader Stephen Mellor said it had received five complaints about illegally dumped rubbish in the Kaiate Falls area since 2004.

Read more: A Bay father's sacrifice

Mr Mellor said these complaints related to various items being found in the main water way such as a willow tree, steel, concrete, wire, timber, general debris, a dead dog and half a dear carcass.

"Region-wide we receive a widespread number of complaints about rubbish in waterways. Some of the complaints we have received since October 2015 include household rubbish dumped in a stream, a trampoline dumped at the beach, green waste dumped into an estuary, animal carcasses in waterways, [and a] couch in an estuary."'

Mr Mellor said the regional council had not received any calls about the Kaiate Falls rubbish.

Tauranga City Council manager of resource recovery and waste Rebecca Maiden said the council received complaints regarding illegal dumping on a daily basis.

In the 2014-15 financial year, 63.93 tonnes of illegally dumped rubbish was collected, costing ratepayers about $60,000.

The standard penalty is $400 for illegal dumping but in many cases it was hard to track down the people responsible.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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