Anti-dumping campaign successful

Five people who allegedly illegally dumped rubbish have been caught over the past month in a special campaign by the Waitaki District Council.

The "Ditch Dirty Dumping" campaign also increased the number of complaints about illegal dumping and the council's solid waste officer, Gerry O'Neill, has labelled it a success.

"The response to the campaign has been fantastic. Since it started, we've had more people calling us, and we've been able to successfully identify and fine five different offenders over the past month," he said this week.

The campaign had informed people about the problem, and empowered those who were angry and frustrated with illegal dumping to do something about it.

Most people were sick of ratepayers having to pay for the clean-up and did not want to see the environment trashed.

It also educated those who thought it was acceptable to dump rubbish illegally.

The campaign had generated some debate and discussion, which Mr O'Neill believed was positive because it provided an opportunity to clarify some of the issues.

Some people tried to justify illegal dumping because of increased landfill fees, but a large portion was material that could have been been recycled at no cost with only a small fee for its disposal.

The council had a policy of user pays for rubbish, and most people knew they could reduce costs by reducing waste and recycling.

"Our view, and the view of much of the community, is that those people who produce less waste and recycle as much as possible shouldn't have to foot the bill for those who don't make the effort," he said.

The council would continue its hard line on illegal dumping, while at the same time finding ways to help and encourage people to reduce their waste and save money.


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