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FLY tipping is still on the rise in the Manawatu District with larger items like a boat now being purposely dumped with household rubbish in public locations.
Statistics for the first four months of 2008 reveal 64 fly tipping cases since January 1, as against 57 for the corresponding period in 2007 and 55 in 2006.
Concerned Manawatu District Council environmental officers feel that last year’s record annual tally of 172 cases could be exceeded in 2008 if the current rate continues.
The problem covers the entire district though some of the favourite dumping sites are on the banks of the Oroua River behind Johnston Park, around the edges of Palmerston North and under road and railway bridges.
Environmental Health Officer, Kathryn Knightbridge, said fly tipping was not only unsightly but could pose health risks to investigating officers and removal contractors sifting through the rubbish.
“We have had to deal with broken glass and steel cans as well as many unsavoury personal items,” she said.
Apart from the runabout (which was holed) found at the end of Karere Rd in Longburn, old television sets, mattresses, sofas, fridge-freezers, greenwaste and bulging plastic bags have been offloaded on rural roads, in drains, near roadside rubbish and clothing bins, at public parks or on the riverbanks.
A deer carcass and dead ducks were dumped this week in Lethbridge Rd.
Ms Knightbridge said among a pile of material found in Lees Rd were a number of official blue council rubbish bags, which can be deposited free of charge at the refuse transfer station in Kawakawa Rd.
“They could have saved on the cost of their petrol if they had gone to the transfer station,” she said.
Council officers investigate each case of fly tipping in an attempt to identify the dumpers, and if identified they are invoiced for the cost of having the rubbish removed or face a fine under the Litter Act. Six of the 17 cases in April contained enough identification material for the investigation to be carried further.
Ms Knightbridge said the increase in fly tipping meant an escalating rise in costs for council to have the unsightly piles checked and cleared and she is asking for public support in trying to contain the problem.
“We ask anyone who spots rubbish being dumped to pass on relevant details, like the vehicle registration number, date, time and location to council, so that we can track down the culprits.”
She said rising household costs and people’s laziness were possible reasons for the ongoing problem.
Wastes Manager, Peterson Asante, said rubbish that was not found and cleared could end up blocking a stormwater drain and cause flooding in a peak rainfall event.