Auckland residents are fed up after being woken before dawn by noisy rubbish collectors, and one woman has found they are actually breaching council rules.
A Kingsland woman who would only be identified as Lydia told Newstalk ZB she had been repeatedly woken up by commercial rubbish collectors making noise as early as 3.45am.
After doing some digging she discovered they were breaching rules in the Auckland Unitary Plan.
The rules were that near residential areas, Monday to Saturday, businesses could not make noise before 7am, nor after 9pm, she said.
On her street, zoned residential/commercial, people were trying to sleep and whole households were being woken, but everybody was accepting that it was normal, she said.
"Rubbish trucks were on the site at 3.45am, 4.10am, 5.10am, banging and clanging on a residential street waking myself and my neighbours.
"Having woken I would go for an early morning walk through Mt Eden, and I realised that there was an epidemic of early morning rubbish trucks waking people everywhere.
"I thought, why are rubbish trucks operating in the early hours of the morning throughout Auckland, outside of council bylaws, waking everyone, when they could just as easily empty bins from 6pm to 9pm at the end of the day?"
She contacted Auckland Council, which passed on the message to the rubbish collectors.
"The two rubbish truck companies have both changed their pickup schedules at the site," Lydia said.
"However, 20m along my road they are still picking up in the early hours of the morning."
Auckland Council spokesman Steve Pearce said rubbish collections from private commercial sites close to residential boundaries could not make noise before 7am and after 10pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 6pm on Sundays and public holidays.
"Basically, you shouldn't be making as much noise as a rubbish truck makes, during the night, but between 7am and 10pm you can make as much noise as you like," Pearce said.
"The council understands the increasing pressure placed on rubbish/recycling contractors to undertake these collections before early morning traffic increases, but we need to endeavour to find a balance between the needs of business and the needs of the residents of Auckland."
When the council received complaints it would work with businesses to try to resolve the issue, and if needed that would ramp up towards prosecution, he said.
If anyone had a truck regularly picking up rubbish and waking them up early in the morning or late at night, they could call the council and it would be investigated, he said.
"Our message to commercial waste collectors and business owners situated close to residential boundaries is to be considerate to the residents and do not collect before 7am."