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Rubbish dumped at popular swimming spot


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Used nappies and toilet paper, burnt-out lawnmowers, and empty alcohol cans were left strewn across a popular Masterton swimming hole, disgusting regular swimmers last week.

Masterton woman Jade Cvetkov and a friend ventured down to Double Bridges in Opaki for a swim on Christmas Eve.

They were shocked at the sight of the rubbish left by previous swimmers.

The pair went on to pick up a couple of large bags full of rubbish, she said.

Rubbish along the river’s edge at the popular swimming hole, Double Bridges. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

“There were nappies which stank, but so much has blown into the trees along the river line now.

“People have gone down there and lit fires . . . there was even a lawn mower.”

Miss Cvetkov said while they swam in the river, they could smell the odour from the used nappies and toilet paper that lay long the river’s edge, while some empty cans bobbed in the water.

For a local who swims there every summer she had never seen the area that messy.

What annoyed Miss Cvetkov most was most of the items left behind were recyclable and could be taken to a recycling centre for free.

Mess at the popular swimming area became a Times-Age headline over a decade ago after members of the public, and then councillor Roddy McKenzie, wanted action taken on the dumping of rubbish.

Masterton District councillor and environment advocate Chris Peterson said the rubbish issue at Double Bridges has been a worry for many years.

Putting extra rubbish bins out would come as an extra cost to ratepayers, and may not resolve the issue, he said.

“The people who are likely to leave rubbish may not use rubbish bins.

“It’s a pity that people have to trash places where others go to get away from urban life and back to nature,” he said.

He said the rubbish left at the Double Bridges swimming spot seemed to be worse than other river spots around the area.

The longer-term goal would be to educate people that their rubbish was their responsibility, he said.


  1. Every single one of those cans will have fingerprints on them… and we have the technology to track down people from their fingerprints. This is a crime… but I wonder if the local police have been involved? Unless we take laws seriously, then what exactly is the point of having them, or paying people (the police) to uphold them (ALL of them). Isn’t that their job? If I don’t do my job… I don’t get paid…

  2. Unfortunately you have to catch these guys red handed. Only possible solution is to fence off public access from vehicles to Foot traffic only. I suspect there will still be those who will dump their rubbish but they have to carry it in first (these guys are that lazy I dont think they could manage even that)

  3. A significant fine for dumping of any sort of rubbish might change people’s mind and behaviour. I’ve seen many times people throwing rubbish out of cars while driving. Discusting and selfish behaviour.

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