Illegal dumping is a problem across the Auckland region, but with Thomas Road in Flatbush becoming a hot-spot, Howick Local Board Chair Adele White wants it stopped.
“We are seeing ongoing issues there, frequently booze bottles and waste you might associate with partying, but also tyres, garden and general household waste.
“Residents have reported several instances and they’re fed up with their environment being turned into a dump by people with no respect for others.”
She says it's disappointing when improvements have been seen in development areas in terms of building waste.
The board funded an event that brought builders, suppliers, Auckland Council and Healthy Waters staff together to talk about complying with sediment and rubbish control, which has seen less waste finding its way off sites and into the streets.
“We were encouraged by the turnout. Events that educate people on the kinds of controls we need to ensure our environment is safeguarded are a good starting point because we can’t ignore things that put the health of our waterways at risk,” White says.
“But at the same time, illegal dumping, almost all of it being done by individuals, continues. That’s not only a source of huge frustration but a waste of resources and a burden on ratepayers who ultimately pay the bill to pick it up.”
The board has raised its concerns with waste management staff and White wants residents to use the 0800 NO DUMP (663 867) – 24-hour illegal dumping hotline.
“It’s a major problem across all of Auckland and our colleagues in rural areas such as Franklin report it as an ongoing issue there too. It’s as if some mindless minority think it’s acceptable to dump their rubbish as soon as they are anywhere vaguely rural.”
White says Auckland Council has invested in more enforcement staff, has doubled the number of surveillance cameras in hot-spot areas, and sped up the process of clearing dumped material. It has also mounted prosecutions that have seen hefty fines imposed.
“But it’s going to take a community effort to stop this. We need everyone to take responsibility, so our environment is preserved.”
Litter and illegal dumping cost ratepayers more than $1 million in removal costs alone last year, with the council receiving more than 17,000 reports of dumped rubbish.
As well as inorganic collections across the city, the makethemostofwaste.co.nz website lists ways Aucklanders can reduce their waste.