Do the right thing and stop fly-tipping: council

Polluted waterway . . . Fly-tipping near a creek in Dunedin's Jubilee Park. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Fly-tipping needs to stop, the Dunedin City Council says.

Council waste and environmental solutions group manager Chris Henderson said the council dealt with thousands of reports of rubbish problems each year, from overflowing bins to unwanted furniture and other items of rubbish discarded on streets.

Fly-tipping – where rubbish is is deliberately transported to semi-rural locations and dumped – made up about 5% of all illegal dumping across the city, but was still a problem which needed to stop, Mr Henderson said.

“Our city is a beautiful place – and we need to keep it that way,” he said.

“That means doing the right thing by our environment and using the facilities available to everyone, from kerbside rubbish and recycling collection services, to transfer stations, skip days and the Green Island landfill.

“Everyone needs to do their bit.”

Since 2015, records show council contractors had responded to more than 6500 rubbish calls of all types, spread across the council’s transport, waste and environmental solutions and parks and recreation departments.

“Of those, 343 were specifically recorded as fly-tipping, where it is clear someone had transported waste to a location in order to dump it without being seen,” Mr Henderson said.

Other callouts included a mixture of illegal dumping types, including fly-tipping, but the data did not distinguish between the different types of rubbish dumping.

“We get a lot of incidents of rubbish just being placed on the street outside someone’s house, or beside a rubbish bin, in the expectation that the DCC will eventually have to clean it up,” Mr Henderson said.

“People need to take responsibility for their waste and do the right thing.”

  • Earlier this month, the Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced a $124million Government investment in recycling infrastructure and plans to increase and expand the waste levy to divert material from landfill.

“New Zealanders are proud of our country’s clean, green reputation,” Ms Sage said.

“Yet rubbish disposal to New Zealand’s municipal landfills increased by a staggering 48% in the last 10 years. We can’t allow that situation to continue.

“We need large-scale and urgent action because much of what is currently sent to New Zealand landfills could be recycled, composted or reused.”

Ministry data estimates the proposed levy could increase the cost of the weekly council kerbside rubbish bag by about 25 cents, depending on individual council decisions.