War on il­le­gal rub­bish dumpers

Franklin County News - - FRONT PAGE - DEBRIN FOXCROFT

Strong words and the com­mit­ment of $200,000 has re­sulted in just $4000 in fines for il­le­gal dump­ing in Auck­land.

Four months since Auck­land mayor Phil Goff de­clared war on those who dump rub­bish il­le­gally, just 21 in­fringe­ment no­tices have been is­sued by the coun­cil.

In Jan­uary, Goff said il­le­gal dump­ing was a pri­or­ity is­sue for the city.

The mayor said it was time to tar­get peo­ple dump­ing stuff be­cause ‘‘they are too bloody lazy or too bloody tight’’ to pay dis­posal fees. ‘‘I’m sick and tired of it,’’ he said. Goff com­mit­ted an ad­di­tional $200,000 to man­age the il­le­gal dump­ing is­sue, which in­cluded in­creased sur­veil­lance and in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Num­bers re­leased by Auck­land Coun­cil showed an ini­tial flurry of calls to its 0800 NO DUMP tip-off line, be­fore num­bers dropped sig­nif­i­cantly by midMay.

Parul Sood, waste plan­ning man­ager at Auck­land Coun­cil, said the coun­cil had re­ceived 1859 tipoffs to the hot­line since Fe­bru­ary.

‘‘Over this time we have is­sued 21 in­fringe­ment no­tices, to­talling $4000 worth of fines,’’ Sood said.

The mayor did not re­spond to a re­quest for comment on the coun­cil’s ef­forts to tackle the is­sue.

Il­le­gal rub­bish dump­ing has been a long-stand­ing prob­lem for Auck­land, with clean-up costs in­creas­ing to al­most $1 mil­lion a year.

Fig­ures re­leased in Fe­bru­ary un­der the Lo­cal Govern­ment Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion and Meet­ings Act showed 539 fines have been is­sued for il­le­gal dump­ing since 2013.

The fines to­talled $116,000, or an av­er­age of $23,200 per year.

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