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Councils work together to discourage rubbish dumping

Media Release

26 March 2014

Councils work together to discourage rubbish dumping

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is working closely with Hastings District Council and Napier City Council to reduce the incidence of dumping and to prosecute those who trash the region’s public places.

Rubbish is too often deliberately dumped in the region’s parks, drains, reserves, river edges and roadsides. It’s found when people – out to enjoy the region’s usually beautiful scenic spaces – stumble upon bags of refuse, residential waste and sometimes animal carcasses.

The issue was brought to light again recently during the Triple Peaks Challenge, with runners and walkers having to step over nappies and other household rubbish dumped down a bank in Te Mata Park.

Waste minimisation and pollution response staff from each council are working together to address the issue. They record the location of dumped rubbish, the date, time, amount and type of rubbish with a view to prosecuting all culprits.

Hastings District Council Waste Minimisation Officer Dominic Salmon says Hastings District has been reviewing how staff handle illegal dumping.

“We are streamlining our reporting and investigations to speed up our response to each incident. Officers have already issued an infringement notice relating to the high profile Te Mata Peak incident.”

Mr Salmon says that offenders may believe they are saving a few dollars by illegally dumping their rubbish. “However considering they could receive an infringement notice of between $100 and $400 or if successfully prosecuted, a fine of $7500, this looks to be a far costlier option.”

Under the provisions of the Resource Management Act, HBRC finds it extremely difficult to enforce rubbish dumping, whereas the Litter Act enforced by city and district councils has provision to prosecute offenders.

Wayne Wright, manager HBRC’s Pollution Response team says that councils rely on the public to report dumping. “We have mobile and stationery cameras in a number of locations which helps with detection and finding these culprits. If people are seen dumping rubbish in public places, please note their vehicle registration and pass this on to HBRC’s 24/7 Hotline so we can take enforcement action.”

Anyone with information on illegal dumping can call HBRC’s Pollution Hotline 0800 108 838.

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