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'Disgusting, unforgivable' - Outrage over illegal dumping at Auckland cemetery during lockdown

A pile of household rubbish dumped at a cemetery on Auckland’s North Shore has left residents upset and disgusted.

The pile of household rubbish dumped at the Birkenhead-Glenfield cemetery Source: Supplied

It’s believed the pile of items, including a television and old broken up pieces of furniture, were left at the Birkenhead-Glenfield cemetery overnight on Friday. 

A number of people in the community notified Auckland councillor and North Shore local Richard Hills about the rubbish, which is when he realised it had been dumped right in front of his grandparents' grave.

He says illegal rubbish dumping is an issue normally, but during Level 4 Covid-19 lockdown it’s worse, not to mention the insensitive location.

“It’s just really frustrating at normal times but especially to see it right in front of where my grandparents are buried, it’s pretty disrespectful to be dumping in a place like this,” says Mr Hills.

The council has now launched an investigation to find the perpetrators, and will take the rubbish pile away next week. 

The pile of household items dumped at the cemetery Source: Supplied

“At some point next week contractors will come and collect it all and will investigate the items and try and track down who might have done it. There was some paperwork in the pile that might identify the people,” he says.

If the person or persons in question is caught they could be given a fine of up to $400, or even taken to court.

Birkenhead local Jenna Bond was one community member who came across the rubbish pile yesterday with her son. She reported it to the council and also shared images of the pile on the community’s Facebook page to get the word out. She says the sight was upsetting.

“I was disgusted. It’s people’s loved ones who are buried there. It’s really disrespectful to dump rubbish anywhere in general, but this is a place that people can’t defend. It upset me, it really did,” says Ms Bond.

A television dumped in a pile of rubbish at Birkenhead-Glenfield cemetery Source: Supplied

She also did a little sleuthing of her own. 

“A guy that lives underneath me said that it wasn’t there Friday afternoon but it was there when he went for a walk at 9am,” she says of the timeframe. 

Many members of the community have expressed their disgust on Ms Bond's Facebook post, with over 100 comments and almost 400 reactions. One person said it was "unforgivable", while chairperson of the local board John Gillon said it was "disgusting". 

Auckland Council says a team will be cleaning the mess up and is currently investigating the situation.