Old rubbish bags, bottles and plastic containers have flowed
into the Inangahua River from a closed council dump.
The flooded river yesterday ate into the western bank of
Reefton's old dump, which closed in 2004.
It happened as the Buller District Council was about to begin
flood protection work, after receiving an abatement notice
from the West Coast Regional Council on Friday.
Buller Mayor-elect Garry Howard said a small amount of debris
had washed from the dump during flooding early last week. His
council sent two engineers to assess the dump on Friday.
The regional council issued an abatement notice and
subsequently gave approval to begin immediate river
protection work without seeking resource consent, given the
urgency of the situation.
The district council had received quotes by yesterday
afternoon and issued a works order, but new flooding had
already begun to eat into the dump, Mr Howard said.
Mr Howard and council's operations manager Steve Griffin
inspected the site this morning.
"The impression is, we've got a lot of plastic floating
downriver that's not going to look nice in terms of our
Buller River [which the Inangahua flows into],'' Mr Howard
WestReef Services staff were scouring the riverbanks today,
- By Lee Scanlon of the Westport News