The infringement fee for littering in Whanganui is being increased to the maximum amount allowed in an effort to curb the number of illegal dumping incidents.
The decision to increase the infringement fee from $100 to $400 was initially approved in August but was required to come back to Whanganui District Council one more time to be decided at Tuesday's council meeting.
At the start of the year the council considered increasing the fee as a way to manage ongoing and increasing incidents of illegal rubbish dumping in Whanganui.
Several options were discussed, with increasing the fee being the preferred option.
Council received 354 complaints about illegal rubbish dumping from July 2018 to June 2019, up from 265 between July 2017 and June 2018.
No infringements were issued in the last financial year; however, one had already been handed out since the start of July.
In the previous five years there had been five infringements issued but no prosecutions.
At this week's council meeting, deputy mayor Jenny Duncan asked if the fee could be more.
"Sadly I was away in August otherwise I would've requested it to be much, much higher," Duncan said. READ MORE:
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Waste advisor Stuart Hylton said the $400 infringement fee was the maximum allowed under statute.
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All councillors were in favour of the increase.
Castlecliff resident Lynne Douglas welcomed the increase but said she wanted to see more done to secure prosecutions.
Every day Douglas and up to four other Castlecliff residents go out to collect rubbish from the suburb.
"We either walk in the area or go down in our car and do a circuit around," she said.
"We do find littering along the North Mole and on the beach where people are too lazy to take it over to the bin, but I guess that happens everywhere."
Douglas has a simple way to hold fly-tippers to account.
"Our thing has always been that we should make an overall attempt as a country to make people responsible for their own rubbish," she said.
"If rubbish is found dumped with your name in it, then you're responsible."
Alongside household rubbish, Douglas has also found sheep carcasses dumped in the suburb.
In August, council compliance operations manager Warrick Zander said the amount and type of rubbish dumped, location and the level of proof a person did dump the rubbish were taken into account when issuing an infringement notice.
Zander also said information from the public was important.
"It provides us with insight into where illegal rubbish dumping is a problem and where we can best direct out efforts to catch those responsible and reduce the likelihood of it happening again."