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One hour after patrolling had started yesterday, a scuffle broke out at one of the skip sites in the student area.
A student who filmed the interaction said he heard noises outside his window in Leith St North about 8am.
"I thought someone had been drinking and was yelling, but after listening realised it was an argument."
A man had brought his wheelie bin over to the skip and the heated exchange then took place with the Allied Security guard.
"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 aims of the 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 tonnes of waste last year and were costing the university about $90,000 annually.
A university spokeswoman said yesterday it would not comment on what the cost of hiring security was, as the information was commercially sensitive.