Instant litter fines top $400

Illegally dumping rotting food or nappies will see Aucklanders hit in the pocket with steep instant fines dished out by the council.

A the Keep Auckland Beautiful conference in Mt Albert this morning, Mayor Len Brown announced that offenders who dumped hazardous and offensive litter - including broken glass, jagged metal and rotting food - will face an instant fine of $400.

Auckland Council receives around 17,000 complaints about litter a year.

He added that Aucklanders backed the council's fines with research indicating 48 per cent of people surveyed thought it was reasonable. 

However, the survey also showed that 40 per cent of people thought the fines should be more.

"What I find interesting about these research findings is that Aucklanders clearly have little tolerance for littering - for citizens who put their own convenience or plain old laziness ahead of the public good and keeping our city clean and tidy," he said.

Brown said curbing litter was one of the ways to recognise threats to Auckland's natural heritage.

As part of Auckland's Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, the council has set the target of zero waste to landfill 2040.

The council is also using the plan to implement a user-pays domestic kerbside refuse system, with Aucklanders paying to have their rubbish and recycling removed.

Changes to the city's waste plan will be made over four years.

Brown also wanted to tackle the city's "disheartening" graffiti vandalism.

The council's prevention plan will include 24-hour removal targets and two hours for offensive tags. 

"I do not buy for one moment the 'street art' defence mounted by apologists for this behaviour," Brown said.

"There are plenty of examples of genuine community art - like the fantastic murals in Otara and Te Atatu and other places."

Auckland Now