Concern higher charges prompt illegal dumping

A Dunedin man whose property is being used as an unofficial rubbish tip says he expects more rubbish to be dumped now the council wants to increase fees at the Green Island transfer station.

Jeffcoates Rd resident Tony Devereux said during the past seven years he had had a constant problem with people dumping rubbish on his property near the road. Because there were no houses in the general area it was an ideal spot for people to drop off rubbish without being seen, Mr Devereux said.

''A lot of the rubbish is food and drink stuff people just drop out of their car, but I have had everything from garden rubbish to piles of tyres and even a gutted cow,'' he said.

Most of the time Mr Devereux said he picked up the rubbish himself at his own expense but there were times where there was too much dumped and he called the council to take it away.

In March the council raised the cost of dumping rubbish at the Green Island and Waikouaiti landfills and Middlemarch transfer station and more increases are being proposed in the annual plan.

''It's [rubbish] already up and down the road and with the fee increase, all that is going to happen is people will see how much it cost them to take it to the landfill and they go and dump it on the side of the road.''

Saddle Hill Community Board chairman Keith McFadyen said litter was a constant problem in the rural areas and the board believed an increase in landfill charges would intensify the problem.

In its submission to the 2013-14 annual plan, the community board asked the council to reconsider the price increase.

''It's quite obvious when you have even a small increase you have people who can no longer afford to get rid of their household rubbish legally ... [looking] at other ways of getting rid of it.''

Dunedin City Council solid waste manager Ian Featherston said there would always be people who dumped rubbish and the increase in charges was a business decision.

The best way to deter people from illegally dumping rubbish was social pressure, Mr Featherston said.

''There's no rubbish police, so we really have to rely on the public to alert us to these things.''

 

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