Illegal dumping costs steadily piling up
People dumping rubbish illegally are costing Auckland ratepayers close to $1 million a year.
Parts of Auckland, particularly in the city’s south and often close to people’s houses, are routinely being hit by illegal dumping, with some rubbish piles growing so big they need security.
Figures obtained from Auckland Council under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act show the costs of cleaning up illegally dumped rubbish have steadily grown over the past three financial years.
Clean-up costs alone have grown from just under $400,000 in 2013/2014 to almost half a million dollars in 2015/2016.
Total costs to deal with illegally dumped rubbish were closer to $1m a year once the costs for investigation time and enforcement had been added in.
When broken down by region, south Auckland which encompassed Manukau, Papakura, Franklin saw the largest amount of rubbish dumped in its public spaces.
Rubbish dumped there included a bed frame, cardboard, red traffic cones, timber, alcohol boxes, car tyres and children’s play equipment.
A resident said the pile had been sitting there for months as the council tried to investigate who was doing the dumping.
In total over the past financial year, there was more than 1300 tonnes of illegally dumped rubbish in the Auckland council areas, with 800 tonnes of this dumped in south Auckland.
North/west and central Auck- land each saw between 200-300 tonnes of rubbish dumped illegally in the last financial year.
Illegal dumping is classed as rubbish left on public property without the council’s permission.
Fines for illegal dumping range from a few hundred dollars to $30,000 if convicted in court.
Auckland Council waste plan- ning manager Parul Sood said the council would go through the waste to find any evidence of who had done the dumping.
The council has contracts for clean-up in the north/west and central areas based on a fixed monthly sum.
Where the costs fluctuated, there were large volumes of illegal dumping, which incurred additional removal costs. The number of call-outs which contractors had to attend also affected costs.
People can report dumped rubbish to the council on (09) 301 0101, or 0800 InTheBin and leave a message giving details of the location and the offender.