A fridge, sofa and bags of rubbish are some of the debris blighting the Karamu Stream in Havelock North.
An anonymous Hastings resident believes the rubbish is being thrown over the fences of properties neighbouring the stream and says the problem has been going on for years.
A resident who lives across the road from the stream, Maurice Middleton, said he had lived in the area for 51 years, and while had seen rubbish down by the stream, he did not know where it came from.
He did not think any of his neighbours would be responsible.
"I don't think anyone by me would," Middleton said.
The anonymous resident said whoever was illegally dumping did not seem to be suffering any consequences, as it had been an issue for several years.
"I just can't believe the amount," they said.
According to the resident someone, they presumed the council, cleaned up the rubbish every couple of months, which was an unfair burden to put on ratepayers.
"The council or someone needs to make sure people don't keep doing it."
A Hastings District Council spokesperson said if anyone saw rubbish being dumped into rivers they should alert Hawke's Bay Regional Council.
"Our rivers can be the target of illegal dumping, this behaviour is unacceptable and if anyone sees this kind of activity please alert the Hawke's Bay Regional Council."
Hawke's Bay Regional Council has been approached for comment.