Land ste­wards

CHB Mail - - NEWS -

I took part in the com­mu­nity cleanup of the plas­tic baleage in the up­per Tuk­i­tuki River along with DOC, lo­cal farm­ers, For­est & Bird, Fish & Game and com­mu­nity mem­bers, both ur­ban and ru­ral.

This pol­lu­tion oc­curred be­cause a land-user's dump had been sited close to the river in the event of a flood or change to river lev­els.

I was sur­prised to learn there are no rules or mon­i­tor­ing around where these dumps are sited and what can be placed in ru­ral rub­bish dumps on pri­vate land (apart from toxic chemicals where there's no mon­i­tor­ing for com­pli­ance.)

I'm sure there are plenty in our com­mu­nity (town and coun­try) who don't re­ally need rules for what should be com­mon­sense but there are those who do and it has cost $7000 of ratepay­ers money al­ready on this one cleanup.

Plas­tic baleage is al­ready be­ing taken away from many farms these days and sit­ing dumps away from po­ten­tial pol­lu­tion ar­eas should be a manda­tory part of any fu­ture farm plans with re­me­dial ac­tion taken to re­duce hazardous sit­ing or ma­te­ri­als in dumps al­ready ex­ist­ing.

These dumps and our land­fills could be­come much smaller and man­age­able if there was strong com­mit­ment in both ru­ral and town com­mu­ni­ties to waste min­imi­sa­tion or re­cy­cling and a com­mit­ted move by man­u­fac­tur­ers to pro­duce prod­ucts out of biodegrad­able ma­te­ri­als.

My be­lief is none of us “own” this planet through our deed of ti­tle or lease of land but we are the ste­wards or kaiti­aki of it as a fu­ture as well as a present re­source. Sharleen Baird


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