Mayor blasts rubbish dumpers

Piles of illegally dumped rubbish can be seen around east Auckland, including this heap in Ngaki Street, Flat Bush. Times photo Wayne Martin

Auckland mayor Phil Goff is adding his voice to the growing criticism of people who feel entitled to illegally dump their rubbish in east Auckland.

The Times has previously reported people appear to be taking advantage of Covid-19 lockdowns to de-clutter their homes or garages and the evidence of that is large piles of rubbish popping up across the community.

Numerous piles of unwanted household items were discarded in recent months in front of Salvation Army Family Stores in Botany Road and Ti Rakau Drive.

Large piles of rubbish are frequently dumped on east Auckland roadsides, including in Elevation Street, Flat Bush, and others.

Howick Local Board chairperson Adele White previously said she finds such actions “disgusting” and the problem is getting worse in the local area.

Auckland Council waste solutions general manager Parul Sood has said people caught illegally dumping rubbish, including leaving items outside a shop when it’s closed, face $400 instant fines and, if successfully prosecuted in court, up to $30,000.

“If people are tempted to re-organise their garage right now, they’ll have to keep any unwanted items on their property until the services that can’t take them open again,” Sood said.

“If people give a charity shop things they cannot sell, they’re burdening them with the cost of getting rid of the rubbish.

“If items are potentially re-useable, they should be stored somewhere clean and dry.

“When the shops start opening, then re-useable items can be taken during opening hours only to see if they are accepted for sale.”

Goff says, like most super-city residents, he has a zero tolerance for “irresponsible and selfish people who dump their rubbish on the roadside and impose the cost of clean-ups on other Aucklanders”.

“The council increased its investment in tackling illegal dumping, boosting the number of surveillance cameras in hot spot areas and setting up the 0800 NODUMP hotline,” he told the Times.

“We continue to issue infringement notices and prosecute the small number of individuals and cowboy commercial outfits we’ve caught engaging in especially reckless and egregious dumping.

“It’s about sending a clear message. If you dump illegally, you’ll get done.”

Goff says while the vast majority of Aucklanders were staying home during alert level four, a small number of people used the opportunity to dump their rubbish around the region.

He points to examples such as asbestos-contaminated rubbish, which put residents and council staff at risk, and cost thousands of dollars to clean up.

“I strongly encourage Aucklanders to report any suspected illegal dumping activity by phoning 0800 NODUMP (0800 663 867), the 24 hour illegal dumping hotline.”