Rub­bish time for campers

The Press - - News - Jo McKen­zie-Mclean jo­hanna.mcken­ziem­[email protected]

Four Cen­tral Otago free­dom camp­ing sites are buck­ling un­der the pres­sure of their own pop­u­lar­ity, with con­trac­tors clear­ing more than 16 tonnes of rub­bish in two months.

The Bendigo, Jack­sons, Cham­pagne and Low­burn free­dom camp­ing sites have not yet reached peak sea­son yet but vis­i­tor num­bers are up on last sum­mer at more than 30,000 since the first week of Novem­ber.

With campers comes rub­bish –

16,225kg of it. The sites were up­graded in 2017 to in­clude new toi­lets and so­lar­pow­ered self-com­pact­ing bins.

Land In­for­ma­tion NZ spokesman Coen Lam­mers said con­trac­tor Ful­ton Ho­gan was ‘‘work­ing hard’’ to stay on top of the rub­bish col­lec­tion and the clean­ing of the in­creased num­ber of toi­lets on the sites.

Ve­hi­cle coun­ters show Bendigo host­ing 10,329 vis­i­tors be­tween Novem­ber 4 and Jan­uary 6. In the week up to Jan­uary 6, 1628 stayed at the camp­site on the shores of Lake Dun­stan. The Low­burn site was not far be­hind with

9999 vis­i­tors over the same pe­riod. A new three-day max­i­mum stay limit and the use of se­cu­rity con­trac­tors had been suc­cess­ful at this stage of the sum­mer, Lam­mers said.

Se­cu­rity staff had been ed­u­cat­ing and mon­i­tor­ing campers, and en­forc­ing the max­i­mum stay pe­ri­ods.

The re­sponse had been ‘‘over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive’’, he said. Nearly all had moved on when re­quested. ‘‘One over­stayer at Low­burn In­let re­fused to leave af­ter a num­ber of warn­ings from [se­cu­rity] staff and was pre­sented with a tres­pass no­tice just be­fore Christ­mas. The is­su­ing of the no­tice went smoothly and with­out in­ci­dent.’’

Se­cu­rity had also re­sponded to com­plaints from res­i­dents over the Christ­mas and New Year pe­riod of campers at the Low­burn Com­mu­nity Hall and at Smiths Way. Both ar­eas were now part of reg­u­lar pa­trols and no fur­ther com­plaints had been re­ceived, Lam­mers said.

Camp­ing hotspots in the Queen­stown Lakes re­gion, such as the Red Bridge camp­site in Lug­gate, have also been busy.

Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil

McKEN­ZIEM­CLEAN/STUFF

Free­dom campers at Bendigo in Cen­tral Otago. The site hosted10,329 vis­i­tors be­tween Novem­ber 4 and Jan­uary6.JO

Rub­bish has over­flowed from the new bins at the Low­burn free­dom camp­ing site, near Cromwell, since they were in­stalled in 2017. This pic­ture was taken last sum­mer, but con­trac­tors are still busy clear­ing waste.

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