Russell Blackstock

Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Reserve dumpers 'lazy pigs'

Peter Hagglund is fed up with illicit dumping. Photo / Kellie Blizard
Peter Hagglund is fed up with illicit dumping. Photo / Kellie Blizard

Peter Hagglund is sick of old mattresses, bin bags overflowing with household rubbish and worse being illegally dumped near his home.

The 50-year-old aircraft engineer wants to see culprits caught.

The Waikowhai Reserve near his house in Hillsborough, Auckland, is a favourite spot for tippers.

"The people who do this are lazy pigs," he said. "A lot of the stuff I find dumped in the bush is old household items like furniture and barbecues, which they can't be bothered to dispose of properly.

"It is not fair on the rest of us and maybe it is time the council put up surveillance cameras to catch them at it."

Local council board member Michael Wood is also fed up with fly tipping at the reserve and the surrounding Manukau foreshore.

"We have had a marked increase in illegal dumping," Wood said. "In addition to bags of household refuse we have had mattresses, sheets of corrugated iron and in one case over 130 tyres dumped in the bush.

We have had a complete gutsful." The Waikowhai Reserve and nearby Captains Bush are among an increasing number of Auckland grot-spots.

Others include Balmoral Rd, Hobsonville Airfield, Whatipu Rd and the Otahuhu Estuary.

Illegal dumping costs Auckland ratepayers about $900,000 a year to clear up, said the council's solid waste manager Warwick Jaine. He warned a crackdown was imminent.

"A set of identical bylaws will be introduced right across the region and among other things, a more significant enforcement plan around fee structuring and penalties for illegal dumping is also required," Jaine added.

This week, Auckland Council discussed a new plan for household refuse. It was proposed each household would be offered three bins after 2015 - one for rubbish; one for recycling; and one for green waste. Residents would be able to choose the size of their bins, and most existing ones would be re-used.

Fly tipping is rife throughout the upper North Island.

In Whangarei, frequent dumping spots included Pah Rd, Whananaki North Rd, Mt Tiger Rd and Peter Snell Rd.

"Littering is a continuing problem in our district," council spokeswoman Rachel Pascoe said. "We run regular promotions through local press and a summer billboard campaign that promotes a Be Proud Keep it Clean message in key locations.

"Wherever possible we try to identify the culprit from the rubbish collected and follow up with an infringement notice. This attracts a maximum fine of $400. Clearing up from fly tipping costs us around $4000 per month so it is an ongoing issue for council."

Hamilton hotspots included new housing around Rototuna and Huntington as well as suburbs around Waikato University, particularly when students left for the year.

- Herald on Sunday

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