Residents raise a stink over rotting refuse

The stink of rotting flesh and bone dumped near a school has the community up in arms over health concerns and the costs of cleaning up the mess.

Butchered animal carcasses from a hunting trip were left near a school playground in Raetihi in the Ruapehu District. Council compliance team leader Brenda Ralph said the smell attracted stray dogs and created a risk of disease.

The amount of rubbish fly-tipped in Taumarunui and further south at Pipiriki has grown and local communities have had enough.

"Over the past couple of weeks, we have had a spate of calls about illegally dumped rubbish in Taumarunui, Cherry Grove Reserve and a huge illegal dump in Pipiriki," said Ralph.

Upset locals have come across household rubbish dumped in their neighbourhoods where they walk their dog or where their children play.

"Not only is it an eyesore but it presents an environmental and health and safety risk."

Cherry Grove was at the confluence of the Whanganui and Ongarue Rivers and compliance staff failed to understand why people dumped rubbish next to the pristine waterways and in the public park.

"Often a lot of the refuse people illegally dump is actually recycling that could have been disposed of for free at their local transfer station," she said. "In the Cherry Grove Reserve case this week a lot of the refuse was green waste."

Ralph sent a warning that the council would investigate illegally dumped rubbish and track down the culprits.

Penalties include a $400 fine plus the cost of the clean-up which, Ralph said, at $300 to $500 was far greater than dump fees.

"The cost of dumping up to 20kg of green waste is only $2 or 20kg of residential refuse only $3 at the Taumarunui landfill. We have a very good track record of identifying illegal dumpers."

Waikato Times