An influx of illegal rubbish dumping is causing headaches across the Waikato with local transfer stations closed during the Covid-19 level four lockdown.
A fridge full of expired food, building material offcuts, paint cans and household items are some of the recent items found dumped across Waitomo, Ōtorohanga and Waipā districts since the lockdown began.
Western Waikato Emergency Operations Centre local controller, Dave Simes, says the behaviour is causing unnecessary risk to essential staff in the three districts.
"We've seen an increase of reports of illegal dumping along the roadside or in parks and reserves. This is simply not acceptable," says Dave..
"We recognise that people have a lot more time on their hands and are keeping busy by cleaning up their houses and backyards but they must wait to dispose of these items while transfer stations are closed."
Local refuse transfer stations are classed as non-essential services and were required to close as of Thursday, March 26 at 11.59pm, the beginning of the Alert Level Four lockdown.
Dave says the closure of local transfer stations and the increased risk of contamination from picking up illegal dumping items means many of those reported are unable to be removed until the lockdown is lifted.
"Enforcement teams do find out the source of most illegal dumping and are issuing fines and following up on these across the districts," says Dave.
"Unfortunately, many of these cannot be disposed of without high risk to staff and with transfer stations closed, the problem is shifted elsewhere.
"Please be considerate - making your waste another person's problem is not the way to do it."
In rural Waitomo areas where kerbside collection is not occurring, Waitomo District Council (WDC) will be operating their local Waste Transfer stations with restricted access, on a temporary basis, during the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.
Waitomo residents who do not receive the kerbside rubbish collection service can dispose of their WDC official blue bags at:
•Te Kuiti and Piopio Transfer Stations: Wednesdays between 9am – 12pm
•Kinohaku and Awakino Transfer Stations: Thursdays between 9am – 12pm
•Marokopa and Benneydale Transfer Stations: Fridays between 9am – 12pm
Transfer stations in Ōtorohanga and Waipā remain closed with residents advised to hold off on disposing any rubbish until restrictions are lifted.