12 Feb 2018

Auckland boosts funding to tackle waste dumping

5:23 am on 12 February 2018

Auckland Council is spending an extra $200,000 on new measures to crack down on 'fly tipping'.

Phil Goff on the day he was elected Auckland mayor. 8 October 2016.

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Late last month locals were left frustrated and disgusted after car seats, mattresses and trees were dumped near a park in Mt Wellington.

At the start of the year, police began an investigation after about 30 barrels of dirty oil filters were scattered at carparks near Piha.

Mayor Phil Goff said Aucklanders were sick and tired of rubbish being left on the roadside which was harming the environment and burdening ratepayers with the clean-up costs.

Mr Goff said it was not a new problem but had worsened in recent times, particularly in South Auckland.

"I've had a gutsful," he said.

The $200,000 would cover an 0800 hotline to report dumpers, extra enforcement staff, and doubling the number of cameras in tipping hotspots.

Mr Goff said it would help raise awareness of the issue as well as cracking down on those doing it.

"The prosecutions have been pretty sparse to be honest and the reason for that is there's real difficulty in getting evidence."

He said while some people were just lazy or didn't want to pay to go to a transfer station, commercial operators were among the worst offenders.

"We've got a situation out in the south here where people have dropped a car body and a 100 tires over a cliff. Now, it was easy to drop it down, it's really expensive to retrieve it and we're going to have to close off the winding road through the gorge where it's happened in order to be able to retrieve.

"What it would have cost to go to a transfer we'll be paying 30 times as much to clean the mess up because they've been too lazy and too mean to pay the price of disposing of their own rubbish."

The funding also covers improving communications around recycling, inorganic collections and waste reduction, as well as more contractors to clear a backlog of rubbish in the South.

He said more steps would be announced later this year and he was hoping to work the central government on better ways of disposing of things.

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