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Councils acts on illegal dumping in cemetery

Councils acts on illegal dumping in cemetery


Rogue gardening contractors dumping vegetation in public parks, including a cemetery, face a $400 instant fine if caught – and Auckland Council is asking the public to help identify the culprits.

The call comes after the illegal dumping of an estimated 10 truckloads of vegetation in the Hillsborough Cemetery earlier this year for which the offender was fined $400 and ordered to remove the vegetation. But despite that fine, two more incidents of dumping at the cemetery have occurred since and the council is warning of a crackdown.

Ian Maxwell, Auckland Council’s Manager of Parks, Sports and Recreation, says that while Hillsborough Cemetery is a closed cemetery, the dumping is illegal, the vegetation obstructs the public visiting grave sites and is a health and safety risk.

“Given the quantity of vegetation, the illegal dumping is almost certainly coming from smaller operators rather than the major commercial businesses,” said Mr Maxwell.

“We are asking the public to be vigilant and if they see anything they suspect as illegal dumping in public land such as parks, reserves or particularly the Hillsborough Cemetery, to note the details of the vehicles and inform the council immediately.”

He said it is an offence to dump anything on public land and there are plenty of commercial facilities for contractors or landscapers to take vegetation for recycling into compost.

Dumping of illegal organic waste is a major issue in some parks where, in most cases, the waste is dumped within bush. Council rangers make a call on whether to remove the waste or not. In most cases, as it is within a bush area, it is often left as it is too expensive to remove.

Mr Maxwell noted that council spends time and resources on a range of illegal dumping including neighbours dumping vegetation over fences or what appears to be residential lots of house rubbish being dumped in parks.

The council has issued nine $400 infringement notices for dumping on public land (parks and reserves) in the past year, with four more to be issued, pending further investigation.

Ends

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