A roadside rubbish dumping on a rural Rotorua road has caused outrage this week.
The waste, photographed on Monday afternoon, was left beneath a Mamaku Residents and Ratepayers Group sign saying "Put your waste in the right place", around 50m up Dansey Rd from the intersection with State Highway 5.
Chairwoman Wendy Roe said she had three to four calls about the rubbish in the space of 24 hours.
"I think it is appalling that it was dumped in bulk underneath the sign. If someone misses the rubbish collection we have the rural transfer station open on a Wednesday and Saturday. This is just infuriating. It is totally unnecessary and it is lazy."
She said for the last few years residents had gone out to pick up dumped rubbish in the area.
"They spend hours picking up other people's rubbish off the road. It is just pathetic behavior. I mean Dansey Rd goes up to a scenic reserve, it is not a dump!"
Rotorua district councillor Charles Sturt said the dumping was "pathetic".
"The people that dump rubbish like this are the scum of the earth. They have no respect for the environment and no idea about the cost to ratepayers. Every property gets council bins. There is no excuse for dumping."
He encouraged any "good samaritans" who clean up such dumpings to report the incident to the council regardless.
"I applaud the members of the public who help clean up but we have contractors that are paid to do that. The public can simply report the incident to council and it will be investigated and cleaned up."
Rotorua Lakes Council confirmed the waste was reported after it was cleaned up by a member of the public.
The council arranges for the clean-up of about six tonnes of illegally dumped rubbish each month, which costs about $100,000 per year.
The most commonly dumped items are green waste and non-compliant rubbish bags such as black plastic bags provided at supermarkets.
In Rotorua, illegal dumping represents about 0.5 per cent, or 250 tonnes, of the 50,000 tonnes of waste generated.
It is estimated that nationally illegal dumping makes up 3 to 5 per cent of the three million tonnes of waste created.
The council's infrastructure general manager Stavros Michael said illegal dumping was a community problem.
"People have to take personal responsibility for doing the right thing in disposing of the waste they generate. Most people visiting and living in Rotorua do the right thing and we urge residents to be vigilant in reporting and discouraging illegal dumping to help reduce the problem.
"Look for alternatives to dumping like scrap metal yards, second-hand stores if the items are still in good condition, or sharing trailers and the cost of taking it to landfill. Also consider asking a friend, neighbour or another member of your whānau if they have space in their wheelie bin."
He said the majority of illegally dumped rubbish was smaller items that could be placed in the recycling or general waste wheelie bins rather than a landfill.
Wendy Roe believes the National Party proposal to increase the maximum fine for dumping from $400 to $1000 would help reduce the problem.
This month National's environment spokesman Scott Simpson's Members Bill passed its first reading.
"Nothing annoys me more than seeing our beautiful natural environment ruined by the careless and thoughtless actions of lazy litter bugs," Simpson said.
"It's far too common to see people brazenly throwing litter from moving cars to say nothing of others who dump their rubbish."
If you see illegally dumped rubbish
Contact: Rotorua Lakes Council on (07) 348 4199 to report it.
If you witness someone illegally dumping rubbish
Contact: Rotorua police on (07) 349 9400, report useful details such as the date, time, location, registration number of any vehicles involved, and who the witnesses were.