What's the answer to people who spoil the district by dumping their rubbish everywhere?
A five-tonne stinking mound of illegally dumped rubbish near Pipiwai had to be cleaned up by the Whangarei District Council after residents complained the stench was becoming unbearable.
The council had to stump up the bill for removing the mess, despite it being dumped in a quarry on private land.
This latest incident comes after a spate of illegal dumping across the region, forcing the council to make a plan to combat the issue with security cameras and more enforcement.
Orchardist Andrew Blake, who lives 400m from the site, complained to the council when the smell of rotting carcasses and household waste began wafting into his home.
"It was disgusting but not surprising as there is little other way people round here can get rid of their rubbish," Mr Blake said.
Mr Blake predicted illegal dumping would be a problem two years ago when the council removed the village's transfer station leaving locals no option but to join the user-pays rubbish scheme.
"A lot of people around here are messy and poor. They can't afford to pay for rubbish bags which must be low on their list of priorities.
"Instead it's easier for them to dump it all," Mr Blake said.
The disused quarry, 4km south of Pipiwai village, had become the illegal tip for locals in the past few months, allowing a mountain of debris to build.
As the weather started to warm up residents' complaints about the stench prompted the council to contract Northwaste to clean up.
Northwaste spokesman Ivan Botica said it took three days for three men to scoop up the mess by hand, costing the council $2562.
"It was a horrible job really. They cleaned up dead animals, smelly carcasses and cow's stomachs.
"There were also loads of household rubbish bags. It was time consuming and costly for the council," Mr Botica said.
The quarry is privately owned but council waste and drainage manager Gary Oldcorn said it wasn't the landowner's fault rubbish was being dumped there.
"We seem to have small pockets in rural areas where there's been a breakdown in the correct way to dispose of rubbish. We extended all rubbish truck collections into rural areas so there's no reason why these people are not playing ball," Mr Oldcorn said.
"We probably need to go back and look at the problems. We will be trying out enforcement techniques in the area including cameras.
"If people are caught dumping rubbish they can be prosecuted and the fines can be very costly. It's much cheaper to just buy a rubbish bag."
However despite the quarry being now cleared, Mr Blake said it is only a matter of time before it fills up again.
"They'll continue using it as a dumping site or find somewhere else round here to dump their stuff. People just aren't prepared to pay to get rid of rubbish. We really need some enforcement," Mr Blake said.
* Fly tippers face hefty $500 fine
ILLEGAL rubbish dumping - or fly tipping as Whangarei District Council officials call it - has been an irritation throughout the district since the rubbish collection system changed two years ago.
"It takes place in the city as well as in rural areas," council solid waste engineer John Langsford said.
The top of the Morningside hill was one of the habitual dumping areas in Whangarei which the council had to clean up when required, sometimes on a daily basis.
"Some people certainly aren't playing by the rules," Mr Langsford said.
The council had video cameras it could set up to catch the fly tippers, who face fines of up to $500.
Up to a dozen people seen fly tipping or identified by sorting through their dumped rubbish had been written to and threatened with legal action for further offences.
"We haven't prosecuted anyone yet, but the Far North District Council has put some through the courts on video evidence," Mr Langsford said.
Turning to rubbish collections on east coast beaches over summer, he said litter bins - cleared weekly during winter - would be serviced daily from December 24 until February 4 and household rubbish would be collected twice weekly.
Rubbish transfer stations would be open daily except on Christmas Day.
Website of the Year