Kim Fulton is a NZME. News Service regional reporter

Rubbish dumpers evade councils

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Illegal rubbish dumping is a problem vexing staff across all local councils in Hawke's Bay.
Illegal rubbish dumping is a problem vexing staff across all local councils in Hawke's Bay.

Local councils are struggling to catch offenders behind the hundreds of cases of illegal dumping in the region.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council logged 47 instances of rubbish and car dumping in the year to April 31, said Iain Maxwell, group manager of resource management.

The figure included reports received through the pollution hotline but not the rubbish that works group staff came across and picked up.

Mr Maxwell said people had been caught illegally dumping rubbish, also known as fly-tipping, and had infringement notices served in two cases.

The council's operations engineering officer Vince Byrne said there would have been hundreds of dumpings in hundreds of locations throughout the region during the past year, when small items were included.

Mr Byrne said dumping occurred at every access point to rivers across the entire region.

"One of our main problems is catching people," he said.

The council had tried using cameras but they could cover only one location and these had been stolen in the past.

Central Hawke's Bay District Council chief executive John Freeman said the council dealt with 36 instances of illegally dumped rubbish in the past 12 months.

They included 13 cases at Otane and 12 cases at Waipawa with the remaining cases at Takapau, Porangahau and Waipukurau.

In 17 cases, staff had sifted through the rubbish and found either letters or correspondence bearing names and addresses, with those responsible invoiced $150.

Napier City Council environmental health officer Felicidad Unciano-Udarbe said there had been 11 cases of illegally dumped rubbish around Napier in the 12 months to April 11.

One person dumping rubbish at Kelvin Place had been caught after a member of the public took note of the vehicle registration plate and told the council.

Ms Unciano-Udarbe said anyone caught illegally dumping rubbish was issued an infringement notice with a fine ranging from $100 to $400.

Hastings District Council communications manager Diane Joyce said the council dealt with 124 incidences of illegally dumped rubbish in 2015.

She said four of those responsible were identified.

Three were fined $100 and $200.

The council had dealt with 72 cases so far this year, said Ms Joyce.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful chief executive Heather Saunderson said littering and illegal dumping was a large problem in New Zealand and had a long-lasting effect on the community, health, environment, tourism, business, crime and the economy.

Ms Saunderson said more than 190,000 tonnes of litter and rubbish was collected from the streets of New Zealand by about 86,000 volunteers last year alone.

That was enough to fill 120 rugby fields half a metre high with rubbish.

She said it cost millions of dollars in cash and man power to pick up litter and items illegally dumped every year.

Ms Saunderson said the penalties for illegal dumping were insufficient.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful supported stronger legislation such as MP Jono Naylor's Litter Amendment Bill, which would increase the maximum fine from $400 to $1000.

Down in the dumps:

* Hawke's Bay Regional Council recorded 47 instances of rubbish and car dumping in the year to April 31

* The Central Hawke's Bay District Council has dealt with 36 instances in the past 12 months.

* Napier City Council had 11 cases of illegally dumped rubbish in the 12 months to April 11.

* Hastings District Council dealt with 124 incidences in 2015 and 72 so far this year.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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