Roadside scavenging to be outlawed

Last updated 05:00 18/07/2012
Rubbish
Michael Bradley
ONE FINE DAY: Dumping inorganic matter on the street may incur fines under a proposed council bylaw.

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Scavenging from roadside inorganic collections, leaving a supermarket trolley in a public place, and mixing your recyclables with your rubbish will all soon be illegal activities in Auckland with a new council bylaw set to be approved.

The council is likely to adopt an all encompassing rubbish and waste bylaw to replace a number of waste bylaws from the old councils.

If the old bylaws are not replaced before the end of October the council will not be able to regulate waste in the region. It would then have to rely on educating the public to change their behaviour.

In a report prepared for today's Regulatory and Bylaws Committee the new bylaw is outlined.

It includes provisions for a licensing system for waste collectors and waste facility operators - including requiring them to monitor the amount of waste they dump, providing waste collection areas for those without kerbside collection and requiring the public to separate rubbish, recyclable material and organic matter in separate containers for kerbside collection.

One of the more unusual aspects of the proposed bylaw is a plan to prohibit scavenging from public areas in order to reduce the amount of inorganic waste placed on kerbsides. It is also hoped this would stop the removal of metal by scavengers from piles placed on the roadside.

The council has decided it will gradually phase out inorganic collections and instead, by 2015, every ratepayer will be offered one rates-funded on-site booked collection per year. 

There will also be local places where people can drop off inorganic material.

Another section of the bylaw deals with people dumping household waste and other items, including supermarket shopping trolleys.

The bylaw would make it illegal to dump shopping trolleys or baskets in a public place and supermarkets would be required  to have identification on trolleys and to take all ''reasonable steps'' to stop the public from taking trolleys and baskets away from their premises.

This might include requiring shop owners to provide coin-operated deposit shopping trolleys or fit automated clamps on trolley wheels. 

The bylaw is separate to the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, already adopted by the council,  but will help it to achieve goals set out in the plan including a zero waste policy.

The Regulatory and Bylaws Committee is expected to  recommend to the full council that the single bylaw is adopted.

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