Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Is this east Auckland’s messiest street?

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Large piles of illegally dumped rubbish are often seen in Elevation Street, Flat Bush. Times photo Wayne Martin

If there was an award given for the messiest street in east Auckland, Elevation Street in Flat Bush would be a strong contender to take out first place.

It runs off Thomas Road, which is itself off Murphys Road, and is in an area that’s seen rapid housing construction in recent years.

Turn into Elevation Street and the first thing seen, apart from two-storey homes being built, is piles of illegally dumped rubbish by the roadside.

One large pile comprises a large roll of carpet, cardboard boxes, full black rubbish sacks, a box of empty beer bottles, a box that once contained a new flat screen TV, children’s toys, plastic buckets, household furniture, and more.

Further up the road there’s an area of grass in front of houses under construction that’s covered in dozens of empty beer bottles.

Elsewhere there are more piles of illegally dumped rubbish, large car tyres, and furniture.

Ravina Prasad knows how bad the problem is as she and her husband are the only family living in the street currently.

“We moved here a few days before lockdown began,” she told the Times.

“I said to my husband we need to do something about this [rubbish dumping].”

Prasad and her husband have seen men illegally dumping rubbish from a van in Elevation Street.

It happened just before 6pm one night in late August.

“They sometimes park in a spot for a while to make sure no one is watching them and then throw it out,” she says.

“We shouted at them to stop throwing their rubbish.

“We’ve seen a few people hanging out where the beer bottles are.

“There are a couple of cars that always park in that spot for an hour or two.”

Prasad says seeing so much rubbish in the street has an impact on her family and she’s reported what she’s seen to Auckland Council.

“We moved here from a clean street and we think to ourselves, ‘Did we pay top dollar to move here and be a watchdog to people [dumping rubbish]?’

“We have to save the environment and the planet, not just for today but for tomorrow.”

An area in Elevation Street is covered in empty beer bottles. Times photo Wayne Martin

Council waste solutions general manager Parul Sood says Elevation Street has been a problem area for illegal dumping since before the current Covid-19 level four lockdown.

“We have increased checks, will be putting up more signs and continue to clean up the area when we’re aware of new rubbish being dumped there.

“We urge people to report this kind of activity [by phone] to 0800 NODUMP.”

Sood says the council is working with builders and construction companies at new developments to look at how their waste is being dealt with.

“Illegal dumping in these new build areas is an issue we’re keenly aware of.

“While a very small number of people take advantage of relatively isolated areas with few residents, they need to be aware Auckland Council does investigate and track down those responsible.

“People caught illegally dumping [rubbish] face instant fines of $400 and on successful prosecution, up to $30,000.

“It’s not just harming the neighbourhood and the environment.

“There are consequences for illegal dumpers.”

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