Scuffle over skip in student area

The first day of monitoring skips in the student area didn't quite go to plan, after video footage emerged of an altercation between a security guard and a man.

The University of Otago announced this week that it would hire guards to monitor 11 skips for the next three Fridays between 7am and 4pm, due to their rising use.

But one hour after patrolling started this morning, a scuffle broke out at a skip.

A student who filmed the interaction said he saw a man and security guard arguing about  8am in Leith St.

The man had brought his wheelie bin over to the skip and a heated exchange took place.

The student thought someone had been drinking and was yelling, but after listening realised it was an argument.

"When I looked out the man was trying to barge his way through and the guard was trying to get him to leave.

"After the guard explained more the guy realised he was in the wrong and he walked away."

University of Otago property services director Dean Macaulay said the aim of using security included ensuring that only student waste and general waste, including furniture, went into the skips, and that waste did not pile up around the skips.

Last year, unsupervised skips in the student area were replaced many times each day and one skip needed to be replaced 13 times in one day.

Skips collected 375,000 tonnes of waste last year and cost the university about $90,000 annually.

Mr Macaulay said concerns came to a head in November last year when large piles of rubbish were dumped around some skips before they were replaced.

‘‘Anecdotal evidence of members of the public using the skips has also increased.’’

He said skip placements were intensified at the start and end of the year as students moved in and out of flats.

The university had been providing the skips and use of them had grown steadily.

‘‘While waste is the responsibility of the Dunedin City Council and most flats are privately owned by landlords, the university provides kerbside skips for larger items as part of its pastoral care for students because many do not have vehicles to transport those items," Mr Macaulay said.




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