Digital media is proving an effective tool in catching people who prefer to leave their trash on the side of the road.
The Waipā District Council announced this week five people who dumped their rubbish on roadsides and behind a shop had each been fined $400.
In three cases it was frustrated members of the public who helped nab them – and in the other two, the offenders effectively dobbed themselves in because their trash included their details.
At $400 per infringement, the illegal dumping fines go some way towards recovering the costs to investigate and clean-up after illegal dumping.
But council enforcement team leader Ken Danby says it’s not enough.
“It costs ratepayers to clear it and makes our district look terrible,” he said.
“Members of the public get very angry with this type of offending. We’re very grateful that they take enough pride in our district to help us find the culprits.”
An infringement fine for littering is $400 and the maximum the council can impose – but a court can issue $5000 fines for individuals and $20,000 for a body corporate.
The fines come off the back of information provided by the public on cases of illegal dumping, Mr Danby said.
One offender was filmed tipping rubbish out of his trailer onto the side of the road on O’Regan Road in Ōhaupō.
Mr Danby said that was a common illegal dumping area.
“A video was passed onto our team, which is a reminder to everyone that most people have cameras on their phones and won’t hesitate to provide footage of this nature to us.”
In Pirongia, residents took photographs after seeing rubbish being thrown out of a car window. In Wharepapa South, about 20 minutes from Te Awamutu, a dumper was captured on security cameras dropping off seven boxes of gib sheet off-cuts at 4.30am.
Two other offenders dumped rubbish on Peake Road in Cambridge and behind shops on George Street in Te Awamutu.
“In both cases, we were able to trace back documentation to the offenders, which is a great result,” Danby said.
If you spot illegal dumping you can call 0800 24 723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.