Rubbish ‘not a good look’ Rotarians clean up Dunedin’s northern approach

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Dunedin is being urged to tidy up its act, after local Rotarians filled a trailer with rubbish during a community clean-up project in North Dunedin.
Project co-ordinator and Dunedin North Rotary Club member Trevor Payton expressed his surprise and disappointment at the sheer volume, as well as the type, of rubbish discovered.
‘‘I would say there is definitely stuff ‘falling’ off trailers — even this close to town,’’ Mr Payton said.
The area could also do with some additional cleaning up, including sweeping the footpaths, and removing weeds such as brambles and old man’s beard, he said.
‘‘It is not a good look for the northern entrance to the city.’’
As part of the annual Keep New Zealand Beautiful Week, which ran nationwide from September 12 to 18, eight members of the Rotary Club spent Saturday morning collecting rubbish from the verges of Pine Hill Rd.
In the area stretching from the Dunedin Botanic Garden up to the start of the Northern Motorway, they filled 24 sacks with rubbish, as well as gathering larger items such as road cones, real estate signs, an electric sandwich maker, and a car wheel assembly. Down a steep slope, the group also found a couch and chairs, and a mattress, which they were unable to reach.
New Zealand Transport Agency southern business unit manager Ian Duncan said the Dunedin North Rotary Club deserved ‘‘a huge thanks’’ for its civic-minded effort in Pine Hill Rd.
NZTA delegated the actual road sweeping in the area to Dunedin City Council’s contract teams.
‘‘Littering is not only an eyesore which detracts from the entrance to Dunedin from the north, but can be potentially hazardous to drivers and other road users,’’ Mr Duncan said.
Dunedin City Council acting group manager transport Richard Saunders said contractors regularly cleaned up footpaths and within the roadway. Areas of bush and reserve were not covered by a regular cleaning programme, but could be done as required.
‘‘Now this site has been identified as needing attention, transport staff will work with parks and recreation, and the solid waste team, to come up with a plan for the area,’’ he said.
The Rotarians were among 30 groups, both public and private, who held diverse clean-up events in Dunedin last week, Keep Dunedin Beautiful co-ordinator Ashlea Muston said.
Events ranged from families cleaning up their street to a community cleanup of Lindsay Creek, gathering 1650kg of rubbish and recyclables — enough to fill ‘‘multiple skips’’ at the Waste Management depot, she said.
‘‘All of the participating groups found more than enough waste at their locations to keep them occupied, and further cleanups will be needed during the year to keep on top of the problem,’’ Ms Muston said.
DCC solid waste manager Catherine Irvine said reports of illegal dumping of rubbish had been fairly quiet over winter, but it was likely to become more of a problem again over the summer months.
‘‘We are coming into a peak time for this problem, because many people start cleaning up their backyards and some people just think it’s OK to dump it on the roadsides,’’ Mrs Irvine said.
Planning was under way within the DCC for the solid waste, transport, and parks and recreation departments to adopt a joint approach to dealing with litter and dumping of rubbish in the city.