New Zealand’s clean green image is being severely tarnished in Northland by roadside rubbish dumpers.
New Zealand Transport Agency Agency Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult says rubbish dumping is a growing problem.
“We do heaps of rubbish clearing across the Northland network and it’s becoming an increasing problem with people littering or dumping domestic and commercial rubbish along the roadside.”
Ms Hori-Hoult says NZTA clears two dump sites and pick up an average of 500 black bags of rubbish a month.
“Chasing rubbish dumpers is not our core business, but we have to clean up after them. And that’s a waste of our time and resources. We all have a responsibility to protect our environment and keep it clean.”
The dumping takes two forms, she adds.
“There’s the mess left near towns by people who’ve been eating fast food and then just dump the leftovers and wrappings out the window. And then there are people who appear to load up their household waste – that’s everything from broken furniture and bikes to bags of clothes and old food – and toss it at a rest stop or on the side of the road. They leave a disgusting mess and it’s not a great impression for our visitors.”
It’s a year-round problem and locals are responsible for some of it, but it’s worse in summer with holidaymakers who go home and leave their rubbish behind.
“We’re really pleased to see we are starting to get the prosecution process for roadside dumping under way in Northland and this is thanks to the partnerships we have with our Northland Councils.
“If we find names and addresses in the rubbish we’ll work with the councils to follow up. Better still, if people can send us vehicle registrations or photos of dumpers in action. We’ve got their rubbish. We just need eye witness or photographic evidence to confirm the person responsible.”
Rubbish dumped off State Highway 10 in Northland before Christmas.