A man's claims of a cheap waste removal service turned out to be rubbish after he was caught dumping the trash across Auckland.
The faux rubbish collector had offered cheap rates on social media, but after payment and collecting rubbish, would dump it across the region.
But following reports from the public, Auckland Council investigators were able to track him.
The offender pleaded guilty to three charges under the Litter Act 1979, and was convicted and sentenced in Manukau District Court.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the conviction should be a warning to others of the consequences of failing to dispose of rubbish responsibly.
"Aucklanders have had a gutsful of lazy and irresponsible people who don't care about defiling the environment and expect others to meet the cost of clearing up their rubbish."
The man was fined $1500 and also ordered to pay $130 court costs, after the court lowered the fine due to financial hardship.
Goff said he had been calling for the law to be strengthened and for judges to consider imposing community work under the Resource Management Act.
"A penalty of spending weekend after weekend having to clean up other people's litter would have been highly appropriate for this offender, irrespective of his financial means."
The prosecution followed an intensive period of investigation by Auckland Council's waste solutions enforcement officers, delving into a series of similar illegal dumping incidents across the region.
Following a $200,000 investment announced last year to allow an 0800-hotline number, new CCTV cameras, new enforcement staff and other measures, calls reporting illegal dumping rose 7.5 per cent in the 2018/19 year to 18,395 reports.
But while the number of people reporting illegal dumping was on the rise, 150 tonnes less was dumped in the 2018/19 year than in the previous year.
"Illegal dumpers are starting to get the message loud and clear that if they dump their rubbish where they shouldn't, people are going to report it, our officers will investigate, and perpetrators will get caught," Goff said.
He called on Aucklanders to remain vigilant and report illegal dumping wherever they saw it by calling 0800 NO DUMP.