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Council ‘sick to death’ of mess

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

Apparent household rubbish found strewn across a scenic reserve near Eketahuna is grinding the nerves of the district council, who are “sick to death” of the recurring mess.

Disposable nappies, milk containers, beer cartons and aluminium cans were found covering the layby area at W.A Miller Scenic Reserve yesterday, a place where visitors often stop for lunch or camp overnight.

The area is very near to the Kaiparoro Anzac Bridge, and is also in the vicinity of Pukaha Mount Bruce, a major tourist attraction in Wairarapa.

Tararua District Councillor Tracey Collis of Eketahuna said there were a few contributing factors to the problem in the scenic reserve layby, including high visitor numbers to the area, which cause the bins to fill up quickly, and “liberated” animals like chickens, which take advantage of rubbish bags not being placed in the bin correctly.

“The Miller Reserve, I try not to judge too quickly because it is often used by tourists and self-contained campers, who are actually allowed to put a bag of their daily rubbish in those bins,” she said.

“I think where we get into more trouble, especially at Miller Reserve and a couple of other spots in Tararua, is that when those bins are full, people place their rubbish around the bin, which then creates a mess.”

Tararua Mayor Roly Ellis said he wasn’t ruling out illegal household rubbish dumping as a factor, which is being closely monitored throughout the district.

He said council policy was that “no rubbish should be chucked on any of these laybys along NZTA roads”, and that if anyone sees rubbish chucked into these laybys they should report it to council services.

“The main highway from the saddle of Mount Bruce to the north of Norsewood is actually controlled by NZTA,” Mr Ellis said.

“We must know whether there is rubbish at these places so we can talk to the relevant organisation that works for NZTA.”

He said council staff often picked up rubbish and looked for evidence to prosecute illegal dumpers and fine them – “and the spot fine is about $400 depending on the circumstances”.

Mr Ellis said the council followed up the fines “very religiously” – “because we’re sick to death of people who are too lazy to go to the dump”.

“That’s what it comes down to,” he said.

“It’s very, very, cheap to go to the dump, and it’s bloody expensive to be fined.

“There are people who genuinely put their rubbish from their van or motorhome at the stops there, but then again you have these turkeys that go and throw their household rubbish there and everything else out as they pass by.

“We have to be looking at both sides of the equation.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. I reckon it might be the work of some monster crows; has anyone thought of putting a lid on the bins? Love the ‘liberated chickens’ so this morning I’m going shopping and will look for drums sticks from some liberated chickens and will just hope they don’t feel so liberated they will run away from the marinading pan 😀

  2. I Live locally and drive past there everyday and have seen a dog ransacking that bin in the mornings. So I dont think its people or the chickens.

  3. People who dump animals like “liberated chickens” should get a good strong boot up the butt from the law. Makes it dreadful when exercising your dog and suddenly some moron has decided to live bait them.

  4. Maybe NZTA should look at placing extra bins at these sites and have them emptied more often. The Miller Reserve is only emptied about once a week or longer. Thats far too long.

Comments are closed.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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