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Council sets graduated fines for littering

Media release
11 October 2012

Council sets graduated fines for littering

Auckland Council has introduced a new graduated infringement fines system for those caught illegally dumping and littering.

The council’s Regulatory and Bylaws Committee has approved the new system which will see a fee for a first offence, and a higher fee for those caught littering within a year of their first offence, of $400 (see table below).

The new fees, which replace seven different sets of the former councils, come into effect from 1 November and will coincide with the implementation of the council’s new Solid Waste Bylaw, which will be formally adopted later this month.

“Some of the former councils had a flat $400 fine and others a graduated system, so this move consolidates those into one set of infringements,” says committee chair Des Morrison.

“Council and other providers offer plenty of opportunities to dispose of rubbish properly either through kerbside and regular inorganic collections or refuse transfer stations.

“There is no reason for people to be dumping litter and hazardous material that makes our city look untidy and poses a health risk,” he says.

The cost of litter collection and illegal dumping removal is around 6 million dollars a year.

The Mayor says the fines show the council is serious about dealing with the damage litter and illegal dumping does to communities and our sense of civic pride.

"Some people might argue these fines are too tough but the research shows most people back a tough stance.

“Forty-eight per cent of people surveyed (through the People’s Panel) thought a $400 instant fine for illegal dumping was fair and reasonable, and 40 per cent thought it should be more.”

Auckland Council litter infringements from 1 November are:

Nature of infringement offence Fee for first offence Fee for a subsequent offence committed within one year (365 days) of a previous offence
Deposits litter or having deposited litter of less than 1 litre, leaves it in or on a public place or in or on private land without the consent of its occupier $100 $400
Deposits litter or having deposited litter of more than 1 litre and less than 20 litres, leaves it in or on a public place or in or on private land without the consent of its occupier* $150 $400
Deposits litter or having deposited litter of more than 20 litres and less than 120 litres, leaves it in or on a public place or in or on private land without the consent of its occupier** $250 $400
Deposits litter or having deposited litter of more than 120 litres, leaves it in or on a public place or in or on private land without the consent of its occupier $400 $400
Deposits any hazardous*** or offensive litter**** or having deposited it, leaves it in or on a public place or in or on private land without the consent of its occupier $400 $400

* 20 litres is the approximate maximum capacity of two standard supermarket bags in normal conditions.
** 120 litres is the appropriate maximum capacity of a standard mobile garbage bin in normal conditions (for example the red lid “wheelie bin” used for domestic refuse collection in the central Auckland area).
*** Hazardous litter includes broken glass, barbed wire, jagged metal, medicines, hazardous waste etc.
**** Offensive waste includes rotting food, animal remains, faeces including discarded nappies, etc.


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