Dumped car torched on riverbank

By Kaysha Brownlie, Jonathan Dine

1 comment
A car was spotted engulfed in flames.
A car was spotted engulfed in flames.

Illegal dumping of rubbish in Hastings is becoming increasingly dangerous after a car was abandoned and torched on the Ngaruroro riverbank on Sunday.

The charred car has been removed from the riverbank at the end of Ormond Rd in Twyford where it had been set alight.

Hastings senior station fire officer Warrick Le Quesne said it was the second incident of its kind, in a similar spot, in just two weeks.

The car was just one of many things that had been illegally disposed of in the area with sheep carcasses, dirty nappies and household rubbish also seen recently.

Locals had suggested having the area put under surveillance, but had been told it was too expensive by the Hastings District Council.

"People go for swims but sometimes there's so much rubbish you just can't," a resident said. Bikes, tyres and toilet seats were just a few of the items regularly stumbled across.

Erica Rasmussen, who captured photos of the blaze, said she and her partner had been walking their dog along the bank when they saw flames and called emergency services.

"It grew so fast, we kept a safe distance, but luckily it didn't blow."

A Twyford resident said she had noticed suspicious behaviour at that same spot the previous night and returned on Sunday to see the car "completely smashed up".

"Two wheels had gone, it had been put on blocks. I was disgusted, it's just so bad."

Mr Le Quesne thought the car was dumped as it looked like some parts had been removed.

Cars burned quite quickly, he said, and anybody who saw them on fire should stay well away as there was always potential for them to explode.

Having been a firefighter for 24 years, he said fires like this were common. He said the number of beach fires was also a growing concern.

Police also attended the scene and were treating the fire as suspicious. They believed it was lit deliberately.

A council spokeswoman said the area was known to them and was checked regularly.

There were a number of trees in the area which concealed some spots and adequate surveillance was nearly impossible.

"It has been looked at, but each camera would only cover about two metres before a tree would block its view."

The litter problem was creeping north as well, with reports of litterbugs using Eskdale Park as a dumping ground.

Hawke's Bay Today was told the councils worked together to identify and address rubbish issues and identify offenders.

"We really appreciate it when residents call council and let us know so we can get rid of it quickly."

The council said they "relied heavily" on residents informing them and writing down a number plate and description was useful.

Last week a man received a $100 fine after a woman took down his number plate and reported him throwing a banana skin out of his car window.

Fines for littering start at $100 and are measured in volume, for example a takeaway container being thrown onto the street could warrant a $100 fine.

Roadside dumping of a disposable nappy, or throwing household rubbish in public litter bins got a $200 fine.

Dumping green waste in public is a $300 fine and commercial or animal remains is $400, the Hastings District Council website states.

Fees at the Napier City Council's Redclyffe refuse station:

* General rubbish (up to 100kg): $18
* Greenwaste and untreated wood (up to 100kg): $14
* Polystyrene (per cubic metre): $61
* Charge per rubbish bag (2 bags maximum): $5
* Car tyres: $6 each
* Discount for separating green waste: $5
* Recycling: free

- Source: napier.govt.nz/services/rubbish-and-recycling/transfer-station/

- Hawkes Bay Today

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