Rubbish behaviour hard on city staff

Two people passing by look in disgust at the rubbish illegally dumped along Ruahine Street.
Two people passing by look in disgust at the rubbish illegally dumped along Ruahine Street.

City council staff say they are being abused as they try to pick up the increased amount of illegally dumped rubbish on Palmerston North streets.

A fly-tipper unloaded a massive pile of rubbish on Ruahine St yesterday, and the clothing bins on Albert St and behind the Terrace End toilets continue to be plagued by people dumping everything in them, from grass clippings to used fish'n chip oil.

Palmerston North City Council acting solid waste manager Allan Davey said incidents of illegal dumping had increased this year but the council was still collating data about the total tonnage dumped.

The problem was such that the council had abandoned policy and instead picked up rubbish at clothing bin sites when it was not its responsibility, Mr Davey said.

"The original arrangement council has with operators is that the bin provider would clean up the area every time they empty the bins, and where there is more than one bin provider then they would share the load.

"I've come to the conclusion that the issue is now too big for them to deal with."

They had been cleaning up at Albert St several times a week this summer and once a week at Terrace End.

Of particular concern was nasty behaviour towards council staff just doing their job, Mr Davey said.

"We've had offenders verbally abuse staff and illegally dump rubbish while staff are cleaning up the mess left by other offenders.

"We've also had staff verbally abused when they've told people we don't accept recycling materials covered in food waste."

They had combed through the rubbish on Ruahine St yesterday but did not find any identifying material.

It would have taken the offenders several minutes to dump the rubbish and Mr Davey urged anyone who saw anything to call the council.

If caught, the offenders would receive a fine of $150 to $400 under the Litter Act 1979.

Manawatu Standard