Illegal rubbish dumpers just 'lazy'

By Matthew Martin

1 comment


A Meadowbank Crescent resident is disgusted by the behaviour of some Rotorua locals who continue to illegally dump rubbish around the city.

Aza Smith said she woke recently to find someone had dumped a pile of household rubbish, including a toilet seat, plastic and black bin bags full of waste, on an empty section next to her home.

"This is not the first time it's happened. It happens all the time. All the older stuff is now overgrown, but in the summer we get blowflies and even rats - it's disgusting."

Miss Smith said she went to the Rotorua District Council to see what they could do, but was told they could not help.

She even offered to clean up the mess herself, but the council refused to supply her with rubbish bags or send someone out to clean up.

"I think they got pretty frustrated with me, but all I want is something done about it.

"I'm not sure why people do it, I think they are just lazy. It could be because it costs a lot to go to the rubbish dump."

Miss Smith said she thought the rubbish had been dumped there by an Elizabeth St resident as she had found a bank statement and family photos among the rubbish.

The empty section is owned by Rotorua landlord Stephen Bhana, who owns a number of properties around the city.

Miss Smith said Mr Bhana had been unwilling to help in the past, but she had not spoken to him about the latest incident.

Mr Bhana did not want to comment when contacted by The Daily Post.

However, the council's infrastructure services committee chairwoman Glenys Searancke said because the rubbish was dumped on private land it was not the council's responsibility to remove it.

She said she felt it came down to laziness and did not blame landfill charges in Rotorua for the problem.

"I'm always astounded as to why people would do this ... but there was just as much of this sort of thing happening when we had the cheapest landfill in the country.

"Our landfill charges are very much in line with other councils ... This is a country-wide problem, it's not just us," she said.

The Daily Post found Rotorua landfill charges were in line with other councils, except when it came to dump costs for a double-axle trailer.

In Rotorua, the cost to dump a car load of rubbish, with a coupon is $10. A single-axle trailer, van or ute, with a coupon is $30 and a double-axle trailer, with coupon is $60. A $2.50 surcharge applies to all cash payments for those not using coupons.

In Whakatane. the cost to dump a car or station wagon load of rubbish is $25, $35 for a single-axle trailer and $45 for a double-axle trailer.

In Palmerston North, rubbish disposal to landfill costs $10 for a car boot load, $20 for a van or ute, $30 for a single-axle trailer and $40 for a double-axle trailer load.

Tauranga does not operate a landfill site and its rubbish is sent to sites in Waikato.

Council works manager Peter Dine previously told The Daily Post the council had spent almost $35,000 in the past two years cleaning up after illegal dumpers.

He said he did not think landfill fees were putting people off dumping their rubbish legally.

"The majority of people pay just $10 for a full carload of waste - Rotorua's landfill fees are cheaper than many comparable councils.

"One of the main methods of illegal dumping in Rotorua is rubbish dumped in council refuse bags which would actually cost nothing to leave out for kerbside collection.

"Despite this, many bags get dumped illegally which can hardly be blamed on the cost of landfill fees. Even if the landfill was free, some irresponsible individuals in our community would continue to dump their waste illegally."

Mr Dine said waste management and disposal was an expensive business and was becoming increasingly more costly after the introduction of the Government's new Emissions Trading Scheme.

"Someone has to pay for these costs."

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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