Illegal dumping in the red zone

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 14:54 21/03/2014
dumped waste
Cera

DUMPED WASTE: One of the illegally dumped waste site Cera's security patrols come across daily.

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Authorities are investigating a concrete supplier seen dumping concrete slurry in the residential red zone. 

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera), the Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury (ECan) have today announced the joint investigation after a security guard contracted to Cera witnessed concrete slurry being illegally dumped on February 25. 

The supplier may faces charges under the Resource Management Act, or be fined. 

Project manager for earthquake waste management, Carl Diamond, said illegal dumping had been on the rise as an increasing amount of red-zoned land was cleared. 

He said "fly-tipping" was occuring in the red zone because there were fewer people around, making it easier to get in and out without being seen.

Authorities were finding about two dump sites in the red zone daily, Diamond said. 

''There's usually no evidence so quite often there's nothing we can do... except to remove it and dispose of the waste properly.''

He said the dumping of waste in the red zone, from household rubbish to trailer loads of industrial waste, had been an issue for some time but people thought the illegal act ''won't do any harm''.

"In addition to the potential environmental impacts, it poses a danger to people working in the area and, ultimately, the cost of the clean-up is at the expense of the tax payer,'' he said. 

Diamond urged people to take photos and record licence plates, company names, date and time if they saw anyone dumping rubbish, and pass it on to ECan or Cera. 

''It is not acceptable and everything will be done to ensure that individuals and contracting companies are caught and action taken against them.''

Ernest Tsao, spokesman for the Quake Outcasts, said illegal dumping was an example of how the government's zoning decisions were creating trouble for residents still living in the red zone or near it.

Earlier this month ECan confirmed two Christchurch-based companies were being taken to court charged with illegal dumping.

Pollard Contracting and Oakleigh Innovation were charged with illegally disposing of demolition waste at a property in Leeston, south of Christchurch. The charges will be heard on April 15. 

In July last year a record-breaking fine was imposed on companies for dumping contaminated earthquake demolition waste in Christchurch.

Judge Paul Kellar imposed a fine of $153,625 on Canterbury Greenwaste Processors, Coutts Island Holdings and Kingsley Robert Kepple for dumping and receipt of 5000 cubic metres of contaminated waste to form a track at a Coutts Island site. All pleaded guilty on the charges. 

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- The Press

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