Student rubbish on Leith street being picked up by
Envirowaste. Photo by ODT.
Angry a member was fined $100 after tenants put out their
rubbish too early for collection, the Otago Property Investors
Association says there should be some leniency in Dunedin's
student area at the end of the year because it is an
But the council says leaving rubbish on the street for an
extended period of time is a health and safety issue, and if
people are not going to be home the day of collection, they
should take their rubbish to a transfer station or arrange
for someone else to put it out for them.
In a media release, association executive member Cliff Seque
criticised the Dunedin City Council's issuance of a fine.
If the city wanted to encourage students to do the right
thing by putting out their rubbish and leaving their flats
tidy, then there had to be some give and take, he said.
''What student would be happy getting a $100 fine for this?
"It is an exceptional situation in the north end of Dunedin
because we have large numbers of students coming and going at
certain times of year, so it should be treated differently.
Surely there could be something worked out instead of fining
''Is this the lasting impression of Dunedin we want to give
The landlord was fined after his tenants, at the end of last
year, put out their rubbish, in the correct bins, several
days before collection because they were leaving town.
The council's solid waste bylaw stipulates no rubbish can be
put out on the street before 7pm the day before scheduled
The bylaw also says that if there is an accumulation of
rubbish which is, or is likely to be, either a nuisance,
injurious to health, a fire risk, cause an offensive smell or
is otherwise offensive, a source of litter or which may
harbour vermin, an authorised officer may issue a notice of
If the rubbish is not removed within 24 hours, a fine of $100
can be issued.
Mr Seque said the move to fine the landlord was unusual in
his experience, and displayed ''a lack of common sense'' by
It made no sense to penalise these tenants when the council
collected, on what seemed like a weekly basis, broken
furniture and rubbish in non-regulation bags from around the
university without imposing fines.
The association was upset no-one from the council contacted
the member before fining him, and that a note suggested he
should seek reimbursement from his tenants.
''This seems pretty unreasonable.''
Council waste manager Ian Featherston said the council did
not provide a service to collect large furniture items from
It was, however, obliged under the Litter Act to clear
illegally dumped rubbish.
It was important households did not put out their rubbish and
recycling for collection earlier than the night before the
scheduled collection, because it could attract pests and
present a hazard to footpath users.
Once tenants had vacated properties, the council had no way
of tracing them, and they were authorised to issue the fine
to the owner of the property under the Litter Act.
The council worked closely with the student community to
encourage appropriate waste disposal, he said.
''We had approached the association to speak to their
executive meeting about the [rubbish] issue in general, but
are still awaiting a response.''
Mr Seque said the association was trying to find a time to
hear from the council.
He said most tenants did not have cars, hence could not use
the transfer station.