Dumping in mangroves raises resident's ire

MONICA TISCHLER
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2013
Mangroves
DIRTY ACT: An old milk carton is among the rubbish lying in the mangroves on Te Atatu Peninsula.

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Wildlife could be at risk after a man dumped household rubbish in the mangroves along Te Atatu Peninsula's Chapman Strand.

A resident, who didn't want to be named, witnessed the event on Thursday and was horrified to see a middle-aged man dump four plastic shopping bags of rubbish in the mangroves.

"Don't people have a conscious or any awareness?" she says.

"Fish and birds can swallow plastic and die. It needs to be put into the public's conscious that it's not OK to dump rubbish. It's highly damaging to the ecosystem."

It's just one of more than 30 complaints received by Auckland Council a month in West Auckland.

Council's solid waste manager Ian Stupple says there have been four successful prosecutions for illegal dumping this year and the largest fine was in Waitakere.

Warren Heywood was fined $7500 in May for dumping household waste including tyres and paint at multiple sites in Massey and Swanson.

Auckland Council provides public rubbish bins along the Chapman Strand so illegal dumping shouldn't occur.

Council was notified about the incident but because of the high tide, was unable to retrieve the rubbish bags and advised someone would come out again at low tide.

In the meantime the man spotted by the resident returned to the bags, opened them and dispersed household litter including nappies, milk cartons and chip packets several metres along the reserve.

Council later returned to remove the rubbish.

Mr Stupple says litter containing hazardous material or dangerous items such as broken glass, chemicals or syringes is treated as high priority.

"Auckland Council take illegal dumping and littering seriously and encourages residents to advise us if they come across illegally dumped rubbish, or witness it being dumped."

Call 301 0101 to report an incident or visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz for more information. Remember to note the location, time, date and vehicle registration.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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