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Calls for a law change to combat the messy problem of fly-tipping

Fly tipping is a rubbish sight, but what will it take to clean up this costly community issue - is it time to dump the current legislation?

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Councils are forking out big bucks to clean up after people dumping their rubbish on the side of the road. Source: Seven Sharp

Councils are forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars in clean ups, and court bills, while the dumpers aren't being held accountable.

In light of this, Gisborne Council is calling for a change to old legislation to allow them to make the perpetrators, not the public, pay.

“Fly tipping in Gisborne costs us nearly $95,000 per year and it's not fair that ratepayers pay that,” Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz told Seven Sharp.

The 1979 Litter Act only allows councils to fine people $400 and then hope it gets paid.

By the time the rubbish is removed and the person's fined or prosecuted that can be tens of thousands of dollars down the drain.

“What we’re looking for is the middle way - where we can charge someone up to $1000 so that we can recoup those costs,” Stoltz says.

“It's not just a Gisborne problem. I'm sure other councils around the country have the same problem with fly-tipping.”

Gisborne Council is hoping charging the dumper directly for the clean-up, will lead to cleaner streets.