Weed dumper filmed in act
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.