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Fines may be imposed on those responsible for illegally dumping rubbish in Dunedin's student quarter.
Dunedin City Council solid waste manager Ian Featherston was alerted yesterday to large piles of rubbish dumped on the footpath outside student flats in Dundas and Forth Sts.
About 50 non-regulation rubbish bags and cardboard boxes spilled discarded material on to the pavement outside a Dundas St block of apartments known as the Coronation Flats.
A slightly smaller collection of illegally dumped waste was left outside the Rodley Close apartment building on Forth St.
Mr Featherston said the council contractors would not pick up the rubbish because it was not in council-issue rubbish bags and, therefore, the service had not been paid for.
''Technically, it's illegally dumped rubbish. It is typical of this time of year,'' he said.
He would try to contact those responsible by talking to flat landlords and any tenants still living at the properties.
Mr Featherston said council contractors might also sift through the rubbish in an effort to find items that identified the owners.
''If we get in contact with them, we usually give them a chance to see it off the road and put it in the transfer station. Otherwise, we issue them with a fine,'' he said.
Both the Rodley Close and Coronation blocks of flats involved multiple landlords.
Mr Featherston said depending on what the rubbish contained, it could be deemed an environmental hazard within 24 hours.
In such circumstances, the council would have it removed and try to recoup costs by fining those responsible.
''If it is organic material, it could be attracting rodents within 24 hours,'' Mr Featherston said.
No fines had been issued for illegally dumped rubbish in the student quarter so far this summer, he said.
Most students had moved out of their accommodation by the end of November.
Usually, ''one or two'' were fined each year, Mr Featherston said.
The council rubbish collection took place in the student area on Mondays.
Mr Featherston believed the piles of rubbish on Dundas and Forth Sts might have been dumped after New Year's Eve.