Advocates fear rubbish overload in parks

Last updated 05:00 11/07/2012

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Being a tidy Kiwi has become more challenging for Hamilton residents after the council revealed it has removed 52 rubbish bins from parks and reserves in an attempt to cut costs.

Hamilton City Council removed the bins from several parks in the city as part of the 10-Year Plan saying it would save ratepayers $69,000 a year.

However Hamilton resident Brenda Sayers, who was shocked to find three bins missing while walking along River Rd, said they were an essential service that should be put back.

"It's like your sewerage and everything else," she said. "It's what makes a city function."

She said council should find a way of trimming the costs without removing the bins and the decision was nonsense.

"They have not removed the bins from outside the Fairfield Bridge shops but they have removed the ones by the picnic tables where you would expect people to stop, often with takeaways."

Council might be saving money in the short term but Ms Sayers said the rubbish had to go somewhere and the city would suffer in the long run.

"There are lots of sensible solutions to this," she said. "They are cutting back on services. Fine, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water."

Walking advocate Judy McDonald said the cost saving by council was trivial and the removal of city rubbish binswas foolish.

"It's a short-sighted measure and I suspect you are going to end up with some very scruffy looking parks."

Council planned to save money by cutting services to Hamilton's parks and recreational areas but Ms McDonald said ratepayers would still foot the bill.

"What they are going to have to do is send people around to clean up trash that people have dropped on the ground."

The move would detract from the beauty of the city's parks, she said.

"People go down to have a meal and yes they will probably leave their rubbish behind because there used to be a convenient bin there."

"I fail to see the sense in this at all," she said. "I think there is a lot of kneejerk, peculiar reaction going on which is not being well thought through."

Lance Vervoort, Hamilton City Council's community general manager, said rubbish bins which were seldom used had been removed from parks.

"Council still has more than 860 rubbish bins in public places throughout the city, with more than 260 in parks."

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- Waikato Times

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