20 Jan 2019

Illegal dumping: `We're coming after you'

8:45 am on 20 January 2019

The number of fines handed out for illegal dumping in Auckland has doubled in the past 12 months.

Auckland council is cracking down on illegal rubbish dumping, like these oil drums found on Ardmore Road.

A tough approach is needed on people who dump rubbish illegally, Phil Goff says. Photo: Supplied / Auckland Council

Last year, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff announced a crackdown on illegal rubbish dumping, with an extra $200,000 being spent to set up a reporting hotline, and increase enforcement and surveillance.

The number of fines issued went up from 90 to 186.

Illegal dumping had been a big problem for a long time, and Mr Goff said a tough stance was necessary.

"We certainly want to send a message that if you're too lazy and too irresponsible to dispose of your rubbish properly, and you think you can just dump it on the side of the road, and the ratepayer picks up the bill, then we're coming after you," he said.

It's estimated litter and illegal dumping cost ratepayers more than $1 million in removal costs alone last year.

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Auckland Mayor Phil Goff Photo: RNZ / Alex Perrottet

But Mr Goff said some of the worst offenders were commercial operators, describing them as "totally irresponsible".

"They're running a business, they know it's the wrong thing to do and they think they can get away with it."

Three commercial operators have been taken to court so far by the council.

In November, a recidivist commercial dumper was identified in South Auckland.

The offender was fined $3500, plus costs, for dumping concrete and soil on three separate occasions in Māngere.

While progress was being made on combating illegal dumping, Mr Goff said there was still more to do.

He was advocating for greater product stewardship, so building in the cost of disposing of a product in the price a person paid for it.

That was something that could work with tyres, Mr Goff said.

He also backs a container deposit scheme, as well as more education campaigns, especially in schools.