Tak­ing ac­tion over rub­bish

Waiheke Marketplace - - Front Page - DIANA WOR­THY

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.’’

Diana Warnes sits be­side an old fridge dumped down a bank and into the bush in Gor­dons Rd, Rocky Bay. WILL RYAN

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