Dob in 'fly-tippers' advises council

ILLEGAL DUMPING: The Palmerston North City Council plans to get tough on offenders.
ILLEGAL DUMPING: The Palmerston North City Council plans to get tough on offenders.

"Fly-tippers" are the target of a fresh Palmerston North City Council crackdown on illegal dumping.

People who witness any incidents are being encouraged to dob in offenders to help stamp out the practice.

Rubbish and recycling asset engineer Natasha Simmons said rubbish from fly-tipping often ended up polluting waterways, affecting fish and birds, and creating a horrible cleanup job for council staff and contractors.

In the last two years, the council had received 93 complaints about fly-tipping, and 73 offenders were tracked down.

Ms Simmons said staff often found dumped rubbish before members of the public phoned in to complain, so the figures under-estimated the extent of the problem.

For 69 offenders, there was an instant fine of either $150 or $250, and four faced the steeper fine of $400 for dumping dangerous litter.

But the revenue from fines made only went a small way toward cleanup costs. Ratepayers still faced bills of more than $200,000 last year for cleaning up.

The council did have the power to prosecute people for more serious offences, and Ms Simmons said where the council had strong evidence, it would not hesitate to take people to court to recover the full costs of cleaning up and to discourage others.

She said fly-tipping could include anything from throwing a wrapper out of the car window to large scale dumping of unwanted household goods and green waste.

"Those people who choose to illegally dump rubbish are not only damaging our environment but costing ratepayers money in unnecessary cleanup and disposal expenses," she said.

"All this has to be cleaned up by council staff or contractors who climb down banks, wade through streams, and negotiate busy roadways to ensure it's all collected."

People who see anyone fly-tipping are advised not to approach them, but to record the date, time, location and licence plate number of the vehicle with a description of the offender, and call the council with the information.

Manawatu Standard