The trail of rubbish left left on the streets by students and
landlords in North Dunedin is a ''recipe for disaster'', a
senior Dunedin firefighter says.
Senior Station Officer Lindsay Rae, of the Dunedin Central
station, said the rubbish left behind by departing students
and other tenants in North Dunedin ''becomes too much of a
temptation to some of the more unruly members of the area''.
''They can't help setting things on fire, which of course is
a total waste of our resources and a danger with regard to
setting fire to [buildings] close by,'' Mr Rae said.
Those lighting fires using the discarded rubbish, which
included furniture, electronics and bags packed with trash,
tended to drag rubbish together to make ''bigger lots'',
which was a ''recipe for disaster''.
Council solid waste manager Ian Featherston said the problem
arose at the end of the academic year and around New Year,
when leases finished.
It was not just students who were responsible for the rubbish
strewn on the street.
''Quite a few'' landlords emptied out flats on to the
footpath, in the hope the council would clean it up.
''They don't want to pay the tip fee so they leave it on the
With Dunedin having a ''user pays'' rubbish system, it was
not the council's responsibility to clear rubbish from the
street and in the end it was up to the landlord.
''We give them a chance to clean up and if they don't, we hit
them with a $100 fine or, if it's a big mess, a [larger]
If no-one could be located, it was up to the council to pick
up the rubbish, which cost it about $50,000 a year across the
Rates would ''skyrocket'' if the council had a ''clean
''It's up to the people who live in the area to take pride in
their area and look after the place. They are just like any
other resident ... and they should be treated that way.''
Otago Metals Skip Hire worker Allan Johnston said January was
a busy time for skip hire companies, as landlords cleared out
flats before new tenants arrived.