Push to clean student hub

University of Otago student Simon Parsons has collected almost 500 signatures for a petition...
University of Otago student Simon Parsons has collected almost 500 signatures for a petition asking the Dunedin City Council and University of Otago to be more proactive about dealing with the problem of rubbish in Castle St and the surrounding area. Photo by Tim Miller.
Hundreds of residents have signed a petition asking the Dunedin City Council and University of Otago to be more proactive in dealing with rubbish left strewn across Castle St. Tim Miller reports.

Infamous for scenes of glass-covered tarseal and burnt-out couches, Castle St can at times resemble a warzone - but one student wants to change that.

A petition started by University of Otago student James Parsons asking the Dunedin City Council and University of Otago to take action on the amount of rubbish left in Castle St has gained almost 500 signatures in less than a month.

Mr Parsons lived in Castle St for two years and was prompted to do something after becoming fed up with the amount of glass and other waste left in the street.

''If you think something is wrong but just sit back and do nothing then the status quo just continues, so I just decided to get out and do something about it,'' Mr Parsons said.

Even simple solutions such as having rubbish and recycling bins in the street would make a difference, he said.

''By doing even small things like installing recycling bins you are telling people this area is cared for,'' he said. It seemed as though the council and university were happy with the way things were because it only affected students, Mr Parsons said.

But as Castle St led from the university to the Dunedin Botanic Garden, the rubbish also affected tourists and residents other than students, he said.

It was unfair to say students did not care about the state of the street they lived on, when only a small number caused problems, he said.

''When I was collecting the signatures and talking to students, they were all telling me they wanted a cleaner street. No-one wants to have to step over broken glass all the time.''

Council transport operations manager Peter Standring applauded Mr Parsons' effort and said the council was keen to work with him on any initiative he came up with.

But there needed to be a ''culture change'' before any more resources were put into the area, Mr Standring said.

''I would be very reluctant to spend any more resources in an area that already receives more attention than other parts of the city, until there was some kind of cultural change,'' he said.

A University of Otago spokesman said the university worked with the council to improve the cleanliness of the area, including funding a separate twice-monthly waste collection service.

The university would launch a waste and recycling programme aimed at both staff and students next year, he said.

 

Add a Comment

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg