Bin it or face a fine
New rules that punish littering cannot come soon enough for a resident who has been picking up other people's rubbish for four years.
Most days Desley Flavell finds plastic shopping bags full of trash dumped on the roadside around Kilkenny and Middlefield Drives in East Auckland.
"On the way to work I pick them up and I keep a bin in my car. I keep them in the bin and on rubbish day I put them out with my own rubbish."
New Auckland Council rules will mean people caught dumping the bags could be fined $150 from tomorrow.
If they do it again within a year they could be fined $400 for each subsequent offence.
Ms Flavell is not just concerned about the mess of bags blowing on to the road but also about animals being hit by traffic while sniffing at meaty discards, which is something she has seen happen.
The bags sometimes contain household refuse but are usually the remains of lunches.
"People have been somewhere and had their lunch, wrapped their lunch in a supermarket bag and just either thrown it out the window of their car or just stopped and dumped it on the side of the road," she says.
Ms Flavell used to go through the bags looking for identification as she "would have gone and seen the people", but she never found any.
"They need to take their plastic bags home to their own rubbish tin or they need to take them to their nearest public rubbish bin, which are available in all parks."
People who see anyone dumping rubbish should note down the car registration number and call Auckland Council on 301 0101, she says.
"Hopefully they'll get fined."
From tomorrow there will be new fines for littering and dumping rubbish. The fines increase with the severity of dumping.
Less than a litre of rubbish – $100
Between one litre and 20 litres, or two full plastic shopping bags – $150
Between 20 litres and 120 litres – $250
More than 120 litres – $400
Dumping hazardous or offensive waste – $400
A second littering offence within a year – $400