Il­le­gal dump­ing a dis­grace

Whanganui Chronicle - - Opinion -

Home-kill an­i­mal en­trails, burnt-out cars and house­hold goods by lazy or run­away ten­ants and, over­stuffed house­hold rub­bish dump­ing in or next to small pub­lic bins drive us all nuts. Lit­ter­ing and its big­ger cousin “fly-dump­ing” oc­cur right across our town and ru­ral ar­eas alike.

It of­ten seems worse after long week­ends etc. You may want to sin­gle out one eco­nomic or so­cial group, but it’s per­pet­u­ated by peo­ple from right across the eco­nomic spec­trum, whether they can af­ford dump­ing fees or not.

Coun­cil clears and then re-dumps, which the ratepayer must cover as an es­sen­tial ser­vice.

Real­is­ti­cally, gold coin com­pactors for the eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged (so they said) failed in the Coro­man­del as the com­pactor’s be­come a dump­ing point in it­self. CCTV cov­er­age is hideously ex­pen­sive and the 24/7 mon­i­tor­ing of that a sep­a­rate chal­lenge for any small coun­cil.

Even tripling the lit­ter fines, as some coun­cils are do­ing to make it worth them pur­su­ing, should hap­pen, but it is not the so­lu­tion. Some ar­eas are so bad it may be bet­ter to re­move the smaller bins al­to­gether, as the in­ci­dence is just too high and one may won­der why their lo­cal bin has gone.

The is­sue is the dumper, not the WDC.

Tak­ing a dis­crete pic or two can help iden­tify and, coun­cil can hope­fully deal with those caught in the act. A sole, lonely, li­cence plate im­age, by the way, only al­lows the per­son to freely deny they were even there. It may be an eye­sore for a day or two, but the lit­ter team does clean it up as soon as they spot it on their rounds, or are made aware by a call to coun­cil.

There are a hell of a lot of call-ins ev­ery day, right across ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas, sep­a­rate to the known ar­eas they main­tain. Neg­a­tive so­cial me­dia com­ments around pri­vate waste dis­posal fees, some of their staff, coun­cil, strug­gling fam­i­lies, and es­pe­cially sin­gling out one sub­urb as the apex of lit­ter is not go­ing to change a sin­gle thing. Your phone call to coun­cil will help.

ROSS FALLEN

Castle­cliff

Coun­cil re­lo­ca­tion

The Whanganui Dis­trict Coun­cil’s in­ten­tion to use the Gen­tle­men’s Club as of­fices is a change-of-use, ne­ces­si­tat­ing strength­en­ing as was forced on the Sar­jeant on the Quay in Taupo Quay and the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion.

I be­lieve their flip­pant ap­proach to staff safety is de­plorable.

BOB HAR­RIS

Whanganui

The Whanganui Dis­trict Coun­cil re­sponds:

There has been no change-of-use. Whanganui Dis­trict Coun­cil has ar­ranged to use ex­ist­ing con­fer­ence fa­cil­i­ties and of­fice space at Her­itage House for coun­cil meet­ings and to tem­po­rar­ily ac­com­mo­date a small num­ber of staff dur­ing the re­fur­bish­ment of the ground floor of 101 Guy­ton St. The premises were cho­sen for their suit­abil­ity and lo­ca­tion and con­tinue to also be used by other ten­ants and hir­ers.

Profit from lies

If Frank Greenall’s col­umn (Jan­uary 10) hadn’t had such se­ri­ous un­der­tones, my laugh­ter would have been more from the belly.

I par­tic­u­larly liked his metaphor that stuff­ing up the en­vi­ron­ment to fuel the econ­omy was “heat­ing the house by burn­ing the fur­ni­ture” — coin­ci­den­tally echoed by the Ha­gar car­toon the same day.

Greenall’s ob­ser­va­tions about trash­ing of the en­vi­ron­ment for com­pany and share­holder prof­its is gold-in­duced blind­ness. Ex­am­ples lo­cally are the seabed iron sands min­ing, car­ry­ing a high risk of

con­tin­u­ous silt plumes for 37 years with a high risk of sea life degra­da­tion. The cur­rent Gov­ern­ment halted all new oil min­ing con­sents, yet Si­mon Bridges says he would re­in­state these con­sents, i.e. strik­ing a match to some more fur­ni­ture.

It can take the planet mil­len­nia to make more fur­ni­ture, but Si­mon’s mates seem to be­lieve it is okay to con­tinue burn­ing it, as it only cre­ates a bit more CO2.

Which leads to an­other peren­nial cli­mate change de­nier who still hasn’t read the ev­i­dence: G R Scown, whose lat­est straw to grasp (let­ters, Jan­uary 2) is “I have read the earth is mov­ing fur­ther from the sun which might mean we are head­ing to an­other ice age”. Great sci­en­tific ev­i­dence, enough to si­lence 97 per cent of cli­mate sci­en­tists who have not both­ered to take what he has “read” as fi­nal ev­i­dence.

If I sound an­gry it is be­cause the oil in­dus­try knew 40 years ago that cli­mate change was real and wasted all that time pro­pa­gan­dis­ing against it and co-opt­ing all those who would con­tinue to profit from these lies.

It is crit­i­cal to note that if we don’t have an en­vi­ron­ment, we don’t have an econ­omy.

JOHN MILNES

Whanganui

Fly-tip­ping is a prob­lem that af­fects ru­ral and ur­ban ar­eas and the per­pe­tra­tors are from across the eco­nomic spec­trum.

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