Residents angered at dumping on city street
Bums are sifting through a never-ending pile of dumped mattresses, televisions and dirty nappies on a Palmerston North street and property owners are fed up with it.
Over the past year, the grassy area around Albert St's clothing bin has become a popular spot to dump unsightly and odorous rubbish.
Neighbour Sara Alessandra said it was disgusting and was attracting wild cats.
"It looks like the Mongrel Mob has moved in next door.
"It's just started in the last year but there have been times when the place is just overflowing with rubbish."
Genuine deterrents like cameras and fines would scare people off but the Palmerston North City Council had done nothing to prevent the dumping, she said.
"I actually don't blame people for dumping.
"The cost to do it is so high that some people just can't afford to take it to the dump.
"It's the council that have got a lot to answer for."
Neighbour Sam Drummond said the rubbish pile was not just attracting wild cats.
"Now we have got bums sifting through it.
" 'Trolley-man' is getting closer and closer.
"One of these days he's going to make a house in the rubbish."
The Drummonds have been policing the area themselves in an attempt to stop people dumping.
Mr Drummond said he had even caught a "well-known businessman" red-handed. "There's names, addresses, bills, all through the rubbish they dump."
People were surprisingly brazen, especially given that the Ferguson St Recycling Centre was just 200 metres away.
"The other day I told someone off as they were dumping stuff.
"I yelled out my car window, 'it's not a flaming rubbish bin' and they chucked it all back in their car but then later on, they dumped it when I wasn't looking."
Louise Drummond said the rubbish pile was getting worse, ruining the area. "It seems to happen so often that people actually think they are allowed to do it.
"I think if we tried to sell this house, that pile would bring the price down by itself."
If the council got rid of the clothing bin, that might solve the problem, she said. Head of environmental protection services Wayne Jameson said Albert St's clothing bin was the most problematic in the city.
The council had been picking up the rubbish and had handed out six infringement notices from scanning it.
Mr Jameson said the council could only be reactive rather than proactive when it came to dumping.
"How do you think we would resolve the problem apart from having someone sitting there?
"There's actually not a lot we can do if someone makes up their mind that they want to dump rubbish."
If members of the public spotted someone dumping they should note down the number plate and ring the council, he said.
"Some community assistance would be great."