Our national and local politicians and regional councillors are all partially correct in saying that fining litterers and dumpers is both useful and useless and that education is the answer.
Fining is useful as a final resort for repeat offending but useless in so far as the culprits have to be caught in the act first and then made to pay the fine.
Education is the answer but media and community notices are probably ignored by those who have little regard and respect for their community or nation.
What does work is humiliation. Although not particularly PC, naming and shaming does work and the word spreads fast amongst those inclined to thumb their noses at society.
Community service wearing high-viz vests with "LITTERER", or something else appropriate, while picking up litter along roads and in public places, broadcasts the punishment and identifies the offender making like-minded people think twice.
Dare I mention that it works well in Singapore?
With respect to cameras being stolen or damaged at hotspots: what about two cameras, one overt and one hidden?
Or what about empowering the public to take pictures when they see dumping or littering and handing them to the council?
It is laziness and disrespect which produces the problem, providing free days at dumps and bigger litter bins won't work for these people.
Something radical has to happen right now before more children see adults dumping rubbish and grow up thinking it's okay.
I am from Nelson. The first time I went to the Rotorua landfill I was shocked. What I saw was a big, open festering sore.
Nelson has a compactor, a recycle shop, and a recycle operation all at the same site. A one-stop shop.
Is it time for Rotorua to rethink their whole rubbish disposal system.
This is all part of a much bigger picture - the trashing of the planet.
We could start with organic waste. This creates methane gas, and takes up lots of room.
Some councils have subsidised compost bins and try to stop it reaching the dump.
The whole issue of rubbish disposal is a societal one because it affects all of us: Industry (tourism for example), and individuals.
Council, is punishment and retribution working? Or are we going to have to get smarter and high-tech when dealing with rubbish?
It's going to cost so it will take courage to instigate. What's more beneficial - a beautiful lakefront or a beautiful landscape? Just asking.
Meantime I weep for mother nature.
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