Weed dumper filmed in act

Coastal News - - New -

A man who was caught weed-handed by a Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil pest plant of­fi­cer faces pos­si­ble pros­e­cu­tion for dump­ing a trailer load of nasty in­va­sive weeds onto the banks of the coast­line, just 200m across the road from Tairua’s Refuse Trans­fer Sta­tion.

“A lot of the time the plants that are be­ing cleared from gar­dens are ones that com­pletely take over — that’s why they’re be­ing cleared in the first place,” says biose­cu­rity pest plant team leader Dar­ion Em­bling. “If you then in­tro­duce them to a na­tive en­vi­ron­ment, that’s not cool.”

The man dump­ing his gar­den waste had cleared jas­mine, woolly night­shade and Ja­panese honey­suckle from his prop­erty and was pho­tographed in the act.

Ratepay­ers have been levied rates for har­bour and catch­ment man­age­ment work which in­cludes the clear­ance of pest plants in the area where Mr Em­bling says peo­ple are now dump­ing their weeds.

“In this par­tic­u­lar area, we have been work­ing in the coastal marine area, tak­ing out pest plants, and here we have some­one else adding to the mon­key on our back,” says Mr Em­bling. “Some plants we’re tak­ing out aren’t spread by any­thing but peo­ple. Of­fload­ing your prob­lem down a bank is not sort­ing a prob­lem out. It has to be done prop­erly.”

The TCDC charges $102 for a whole tonne to dis­pose of gar­den waste. The re­gional coun­cil says if peo­ple do not take weeds to a refuse sta­tion, it should be dealt with on site, ei­ther by com­post­ing or rot­ting down any plant species that have a ten­dency to spread.

The man who was caught dump­ing gar­den waste was pho­tographed in the act and re­ported to the Thames-coro­man­del Dis­trict Coun­cil com­pli­ance team for pos­si­ble in­fringe­ment.

Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil has fact sheets on pest plants, which in­cludes how to con­trol them and dis­pose of them re­spon­si­bly.

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