TODAY |

Holidaymakers blamed for rubbish strewn across roadsides, parks and reserves

At the end of an ordinary street in South Auckland lie piles of household waste. It’s a scene that has Auckland Mayor Phil Goff promising action.

"We've got a message for people who are too lazy and too irresponsible to dispose of your rubbish properly, we're coming after you," he said.

In Northland, piles of trash have angered the transport authority, which says rubbish dumped over the summer period is tarnishing our clean, green image.

It says the problem's worse during the holidays, with travellers throwing trash out car windows

In Northland alone, authorities are clearing an average of 500 black bags of rubbish a month from the streets.

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said "as we all go about enjoying the summer we've all got a responsibility to keep our country tidy."

She says the government is considering proposals aimed at reducing waste.

"They are being worked on and we're expecting official advice back early in the new year, they are looking at a range of things from better data on waste, further product stewardship schemes and waste management."

That might include increasing the cost of taking rubbish to the tip.

"We are looking at a range of options, not just about people taking things to the tip. We know when we buy a tryre, that we all pay a levy on that, for the responsible disposal of the tyre."

Auckland’s mayor says the real problem lies with commercial operators who simply dump their waste.

The council's taken three prosecutions against such companies in the last year. One of these commercial dumpers was dumping oil barrels and used oil filters that were damaging our environment.

"I don't accept the argument that the people that are dumping their rubbish irresponsibly are just too poor to do it right," said Phill Goff.

Many councils can fine individuals up to $400 for littering. In Auckland, ratepayers fork out more than one million dollars a year in removal costs alone.

"We have lifted the number of surveillance cameras, we've put more money into it, we've been more active in putting out infringement fines, which are up forty percent on the last year."

Northland authorities are filling 500 bags a month with street trash. Source: 1 NEWS