Taking action over rubbish
An evening walk along a clifftop road turned into a later mission for two residents.
Diana Warnes and Will Ryan couldn’t believe what they were seeing when they peeked over the edge of Newton Rd turnaround, overlooking picturesque Little Oneroa beach.
A huge pile of dumped rubbish was occupying the slope leading to the rocks below.
The pair returned with bin liners the following Sunday, October 2, to clear it up.
‘‘We filled five large, black bin bags and retrieved two suitcases, a heavy iron car jack, two vehicle tyres and tyre hobs.
‘‘There was a ridiculous amount of shoe inner soles, a child’s stroller, car lights, drink bottles and cans as well as bags of rubbish that had been tied up and thrown over the cliff.’’
She said people probably dumped their rubbish so they didn’t have to pay transfer station charges.
Now she has formed a new Facebook group, It’s up to us Waiheke, to tackle the problem.
The group will consider approaching Auckland Council for a once-a-month amnesty from charges to be applied to the group.
But Auckland Council Senior Waste Advisor Jan Eckersley said it would not be possible.
‘‘Instead, the group could meet with members of the council’s Waste Solutions team, or other community groups on the island, to discuss other ways they would provide help to beautify the island.
‘‘These could include opportunities such as organising litter clean-ups in the bush or on the beach, encouraging residents to be vigilant of dumpers and to report them if witnessed, and assisting in looking after dumping hotspots.’’
Eckersley said council officers found areas were less likely to be dumped on if they looked cared for.
She said council’s preferred solution to illegal dumping would be for the group to report locations where they noticed dumped rubbish.
Jobs could be logged with the council’s call centre for one of its contractors to remove.
‘‘If there is evidence or a witness, our enforcement team can investigate in an effort to identify the offender,’’ she said.
‘‘Our contractors are more able to deal safely with any risks and hazards.’’