Council powerless to stop tipping

'They're rubbishing our place'

IAIN SCOTT
Last updated 12:00 20/05/2014
Rubbish
DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ

TERRIBLE SIGHT: Rubbish litters the side of the road on Flygers Line.

Rubbish
DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ
Farmer Ray Elliott is fed up with the rubbish being dumped and has already been assaulted once after confronting people dumping rubbish.

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Flygers Line residents are fed up with their road being a dumping ground for fly-tippers, but the Palmerston North City Council says there is little it can do.

Residents say illegal dumpers, who offload everything from whiteware to animals, are spoiling their surroundings.

One resident, who did not want to be named for fear of retribution, said fly-tipping was frequent and had been going on for years.

"It's sad, because it's a lovely road."

She and her husband kept out of it, partly because they were afraid they might be targeted.

"We just let it go because there's nothing we can do. We've already had our letterbox blown up."

Residents woke up on Sunday to find large piles of rubbish at two locations.

Discarded items included a washing machine, office chairs, furniture, clothing, VHS cassettes, DVDs and broken speakers.

Ray Elliott, who grows vegetables for the Salvation Army's food bank on a block of land on Flygers Line, said illegal dumping happened almost nightly. "Not quite to this extent, though."

It hampered residents' efforts to keep the area tidy. "This is the first road out of town so they come here because it's handy for them. It's the most convenient."

Most of the material dumped at the weekend had been removed by mid-morning yesterday.

"I think the scrap dealer drove down the road. There was a lot of steel down there, swivel chairs and things you could get the steel off, and he would have picked up the washing machine."

He had been assaulted when he approached a fly-tipper in the past and had also been threatened twice.

"They're just a law unto themselves. There are days I can't get out of the gate without shifting a whole load of stuff." People had even dumped boxes containing kittens, puppies and chickens.

The Palmerston North City Council was aware Flygers Line was a fly-tipping site, recycling asset engineer Natasha Simmons said.

"These people don't tend to leave us information about who they are, so it's very hard to catch the culprits without any information.

"At this point, without knowing who's doing it, all the council can do is clean it up."

The council said previously cleaning up illegally dumped rubbish around the city cost ratepayers between $200,000 and $300,000 last year.

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- Manawatu Standard

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