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Dumped rubbish 'heart-breaking'

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 24/01/2014
Peter Folwer

WHAT A MESS: Dumped green waste at Hellyers Reserve boat ramp, as found by resident Jeremy Smart.

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Dumped rubbish at a public boat ramp has been cleared but questions remain over why it was allowed to happen.

Resident Jeremy Smart says rubbish is always left at the Hellyers Reserve boat ramp at the end of Paragon Ave, Beach Haven.

Mr Smart says he cleared green waste - weeds and other rubbish - last Queen's Birthday.

Building materials and a locked safe, which had been cut open, have also been left there, he says.

Auckland Council put signs up but "said they were unable to prosecute and had no budget for maintaining the foreshore", Mr Smart says.

Rubbish was dumped again this month.

"I expect fines to be issued this time. It's heart-breaking to see that we are powerless to stop this damage to the environment and I am left wondering what else I can do to stop it."

Hellyers Reserve "is not what we would consider a ‘hot spot' for illegal dumping", the council's Grant Muir says.

Mr Muir, team leader for local and sport parks operations, says it can be "very difficult to prosecute without definitive evidence linking a person directly to the dumping, meaning prosecutions are not commonplace".

If there is evidence of illegal rubbish dumping people can be fined between $100 to $400, dependent on type and volume of rubbish.

If the dumping is significant, council "can take a prosecution where the courts can impose a fine of up to $30,000", Mr Muir says.

Hellyers Reserve is a bush and natural area and any maintenance is mainly track clearance, he says.

To report rubbish dumping to council, details like licence plate numbers, date, time, location and what kind of rubbish has been dumped are needed.

Go to tinyurl.com/IllegalRubbish for more information from the council.

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