Keeping an eye out for illegal dumping

Tuesday 21 August 2012, 12:29PM
By Environment Canterbury


Residents in areas where houses are being demolished are being asked to be vigilant and report any instances of illegal dumping of waste – be it household or demolition waste.

Christchurch City Council Investigation and Compliance Manager Anne Columbus says there is an increasing number of cases where demolition and other household waste is being dumped on to previously cleared demolition sites in residential areas.

“We want to make it clear that Council and Environment Canterbury see this behaviour as not acceptable and we want to hear from anyone who sees it happening. We are encouraging people to take the number plate of the car or truck and call Environment Canterbury’s Pollution Hotline so we can follow up. The number to call is 0800 765588 or 366 4663.

“This illegal dumping is unfair to residents left in the area and is a big expense to the taxpayer as it then has to be picked up and taken to an eco-station,’’ she says. “Those who are dumping the waste are taking advantage of the fact that not many people are around, which is why we need those who are in the area to be extra ears and eyes for the community.

“CERA which is clearing up the waste says it costs the taxpayer around $1000 a month or $12,000 a year and the costs are increasing rapidly.

“Under the Litter Act, fines of up to $7,000 can be imposed for illegal dumping, and for corporate bodies it can be up to $20,000.’’

Environment Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri and Selwyn District councils and CERA are working together on strategies for dealing with waste from demolitions and abandoned homes. The Waste and Environmental Management Team (WEMT) is liaising with demolition contractors to ensure contractors follow correct practices and safe disposal of waste, says Ms Columbus.

EcoDrops have free disposal of household goods that can be reused such as doors, joinery kitchen units and other household items.  Acceptance of these is by a visual inspection at the EcoDrop and if they do not meet their criteria, they will need to be disposed at the waste pit. Residents can also dispose of hazardous household waste at no charge at the EcoDrop.

People in red zones whose houses are to be demolished can also leave hazardous household waste safely stored in their houses. Demolition contractors in conjunction with Environment Canterbury, Christchurch City Council and WDC will then ensure that the hazardous waste is picked up and disposed of appropriately prior to the demolition.

Clean hardfill which is bricks, concrete, stones, paving and cement taken from residential sites can also be taken to an EcoDrop.   Much of this material is crushed and used for road basing. Hardfill must be separated from other refuse and there is a charge for dropping it off.

More information can be found at www.ecocentral.co.nz/services/ecodrop