It could take up to $50,000 of ratepayers' money to clean up two fly-tipping sites created by "scumbags" on rural roads in Whangarei.
Before plans to clean up a large fly-tip discovered at Parakao, 40km west of Whangarei, could even get underway, Whangarei District Council was made aware of a bigger one on Puhipuhi Rd near Whakapara.
The discoveries have left council waste and drainage field officer Grant Alsop frustrated and disheartened.
"There's no excuse for this sort of littering. You don't have to pollute the native bush and throw it down the bank."
The first site on Karaka Rd, which is 500m inside the district's boundary with Kaipara, was discovered in late June and clean-up work started yesterday.
The road was closed and a 100-tonne mobile crane with a 50m boom was brought in to lower a skip bin to the bottom of the bank, where a crew from Northland Waste filled it.
Six contractors dressed in protective white suits and gloves were part of a rotation who loaded plastic chairs, tyres, food wrappings, plastic bottles and household rubbish bags into the bin.
Once filled, the bin - which held about three cubic metres - was lifted to the roadside and emptied into a 30cu m bin.
Mr Alsop said the crew had filled the large bin yesterday and he estimated there was about 45cu m of rubbish altogether.
He described the illegal dumpers as "scumbags".
"They have no respect for the people of the community or the environment."
In an ironic twist, a "please don't litter" sign was displayed on the bank about 50m from the site.
Mr Alsop said a vehicle registration plate which was spotted in the rubbish when the pile was first found had been tracked, but it belonged to a trailer stolen in Dargaville, so it was a dead end.
A worker was on site at Karaka Rd to sift through the rubbish bags to try to find any documents which identified the culprits.
Mr Alsop said everyone who was identified would be served with a $400 fine.
He was made aware of the second site on Puhipuhi Rd last week by council staff. He went to investigate on Monday and said the two sites bore a number of similarities.
"It's a similar size to this one [Karaka Rd], might be a little bit bigger."
The bank at the Puhipuhi site is steeper, but the stream was not as close.
He said a crane would also be needed to clear the recently discovered site.
visited the site yesterday and found a van, whiteware and domestic waste as well as building waste.
"You learn to roll with the punches but some punches knock you down and are harder to get up from and this is one of those punches," Mr Alsop said.
He estimated the cost of the Karaka Rd clean up would be between $20,000 to $25,000, but because it was so close to the Kaipara boundary the Kaipara District Council had agreed to contribute to the cost. Mr Alsop said the Puhipuhi site would be a similar cost.
"The money we are going to be spending cleaning up these sorts of areas could be spent on other areas of the district."