Illegal dumping of rubbish was a hot topic at Wednesday's Tararua District Council meeting which saw Mayor Tracey Collis issue a warning to fly-tippers.
"When we catch anyone dumping rubbish they will be fined," Collis said.
The issue arose after Southern ward councillor Alison Franklin was sent a photograph of rubbish that had been dumped under the Town Bridge in Pahiatua.
Fellow Southern ward councillor Shirley Hull said the council had to act severely on this and track down the people involved.
"We are going to see more illicit dumping."
Collis said she had definitely noticed an increase in illegal dumping of rubbish, and was particularly concerned at fly-tipping near the district's rivers and streams.
"Dumping rubbish by a waterway is absolutely repugnant."
She asked who was responsible for removing the rubbish when waterways were affected because the district's waterways were under the jurisdiction of Horizons Regional Council.
Chief executive Blair King said there was an unsigned agreement in cases of illegal dumping on or near waterways that the council would clear the rubbish and bill Horizons for the service.
In the case of the dumping under Pahiatua's Town Bridge council staff were notified and referred the issue to the New Zealand Transport Agency which was responsible for the road involved.
Collis said the issue of rubbish was absolutely huge and people needed to think carefully about what they were purchasing and the amount of unnecessary packaging that came with their purchases.
King said the problem was that fly-tipping was only carried out by a certain section of the community.
"You are not dealing with law-abiding people."
He said the council only had one person dealing with the rubbish problem.
"We need to tell the community that we need another staff member to help deal with the problem. But rather than this step it's prevention that we need to look at."
Collis said she did not think ratepayers would want to pay another council staff member to deal with this issue.
Council strategy and district development manager Peter Wimsett said there were hidden cameras deployed around the district.
Where there were reports of fly-tipping a camera would be set up to monitor activity. After rubbish had been picked up by council staff they sift through it to try to identify the person responsible who would then be prosecuted.
Earlier in the meeting group manager of plant and property Dave Watson raised another issue relating to rubbish removal and recycling.
The council had contracts with Smart Environmental for the Dannevirke transfer station and the kerbside recycling collection.
The contract started on November 1, 2015 and ended on October 31, 2018 and had two rollover provisions.
The first rollover was utilised and ends on October 31.
A report recommended the council use the final rollover for the contracts to start on November 1.
The transfer station contract will end in May and the kerbside collection will end on October 31 next year.
Watson explained that the recommendation would allow the council to align with its other contracts.
"It will allow some breathing space in regards to what is happening around the country and allow us to get our heads around that and what other contractors there are in the market."
He said everything was changing in regard to rubbish and recycling and because Tararua was a small place the council needed to know what was happening in the districts surrounding it.
King said there were challenges ahead.
"We need to look at whether we collaborate with others on solid waste or whether there are other things we could do.
"We also need to look at the social issues, whether there are job opportunities that come with recycling."