Trash town

Rub­bish on the streets — why do so many peo­ple treat their city as a tip?

The New Zealand Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Phil Tay­lor in­ves­tiga­tive re­porter

With its har­bours, beaches, bush and vol­ca­noes, Auck­land is a spec­tac­u­lar city. Just don’t look too closely.

It has an ugly back­side which you are best placed to see from a bike seat.

Cy­clists seek out roads on the city’s fringe be­cause traf­fic is light. So do peo­ple who il­le­gally dump their rub­bish — there’s less chance of be­ing caught in the act.

By Auck­land Air­port, a for­tune has been spent land­scap­ing the ap­proach to Ge­orge Bolt Drive and a swish tree­lined bike path.

It makes for a pretty in­tro­duc­tion for the 75 per cent of vis­i­tors who ar­rive in New Zealand at this air­port. But just a few me­tres away are piles of house­hold rub­bish — mat­tresses, clothes, a sofa — rot­ting among the veg­e­ta­tion.

In this in­stance, those re­spon­si­ble have gone to the bother of car­ry­ing their garbage just beyond the bush fring­ing the road. Per­haps they were ashamed? It may there­fore not have been re­ported to Auck­land Coun­cil — out of sight, out of mind.

An­other lot is on the cor­ner of the main road to the air­port and Ihu­matao Rd, a road long treated as a tip.

That’s a good spot for one of the ex­tra seven cam­eras (bring­ing the to­tal to 14) that Auck­land Coun­cil has an­nounced it will de­ploy to gather ev­i­dence to pros­e­cute il­le­gal dumpers. So much for 100 per cent pure, said Paul, when the Her­ald vis­ited a busi­ness on that road that stores and rents ve­hi­cles.

“We have a lot of over­seas back­pack­ers come through here. What an in­tro­duc­tion to New Zealand!”

Paul didn’t want to give his full name be­cause he has con­fronted sus­pected dumpers in the past and is wary of reprisals.

Twi­light Rd winds its way through bush-lined hills west of Cleve­don. I found a wrecked car down a bank and hun­dreds of tyres tipped into gul­lies.

A truck would have been needed to trans­port them.

Rub­bish dumped on Renton Rd in Man­gere.

Pic­ture / Phil Tay­lor

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