Cleaning up rubbish, including recyclable items, illegally dumped at the gates of Tairua Refuse Transfer Stations (RTS) outside of hours, incurs an increased cost for Thames-Coromandel district ratepayers that contributes to driving up the annual rates bill.
In addition, the council is concerned the actions are also portraying a very poor visual image of the beautiful district.
The latest example is at Tairua RTS, where both domestic and commercial waste was dumped at the gate earlier this month, while the facility was closed.
"The irony is that the Tairua RTS has facilities to drop off domestic quantities of rubbish, in pre-paid council bags, and recycling after hours, so there's no reason for this kind of behaviour," said council's infrastructure manager Mo Imtiaz.
"Businesses disposing of large quantities of waste, even recyclables, should do so during operating hours. We have seven RTSs in our district – we are very well served in terms of handling solid waste.
"Collecting and disposing of illegally dumped waste is not included in our contract with our solid waste operator. Council is charged to collect and dispose of this waste, and that means ratepayers foot the bill in the end.
"On occasions like this one, it means our council has to pay extra to remove the rubbish, even though it's just outside the RTS.
"In the past, our council has examined illegally-tipped rubbish to identify the dumpers. If this dumping continues, our council will have no option but to collect evidence from the waste and CCTV footage with a view to prosecuting those responsible."
The threat from Thames-Coromandel District Council comes after five offenders were slapped with a $400 fine in October for illegally dumping rubbish in Waipā.
Waipā District Council's enforcement team leader Ken Danby said illegal dumping was becoming a huge issue.
An offender was filmed by a member of the public tipping rubbish out of his trailer onto the side of the road on O'Regan Rd in Ohaupo, a common illegal dumping area, Danby said.
"A video was passed on to our team, which is a reminder to everyone that most people have cameras on their phones and won't hesitate to provide footage of this nature to us," he said.
In Pirongia, residents witnessed rubbish being thrown out of a car window. Swift action led to photographs of the vehicle and litter being provided to council.
In Wharepapa South, about 20 minutes from Te Awamutu, an offender was captured on security cameras dropping off seven boxes of gib sheet off-cuts.
Two other offenders dumped rubbish on Peake Rd in Cambridge and behind shops on George St in Te Awamutu.
"In both cases, we were able to trace back documentation to the offenders, which is a great result," Danby said.
At $400 per infringement, the illegal dumping fines go some way towards recovering the costs incurred by council to investigate and clean-up after illegal dumping. But Danby said it's not enough.
"It costs ratepayers to clear it and makes our district look terrible," he said.
"Members of the public get very angry with this type of offending. We're very grateful that they take enough pride in our district to help us find the culprits."
An infringement fine for littering is $400 and the maximum fine upon conviction at court for litter is $5000 for an individual or $20,000 for a body corporate.