Wellington Scoop

Upper Hutt residents prosecuted for dumping household rubbish in public bins

Press Release – Upper Hutt City Council
The Upper Hutt City Council is taking a stand against illegal dumping of household waste in an effort to preserve the cleanliness of public places and reduce the cost and risks of maintaining them.

Dumping of household or trade refuse in public places is illegal in Upper Hutt, both under a local bylaw and the Litter Act. Despite this, some local residents have been dumping rubbish in public litter bins. Recently this has led the Council to prosecute three local residents.

Illegal disposal of rubbish impacts more than the city’s appearance, leading to additional costs of rubbish removal and risk to those charged with its collection. Rubbish containing broken glass, jagged or sharp materials, or any hazardous substances threaten serious injury to anyone handling it. The risk of injury is so great that, under the Litter Act, anyone caught illegally dumping such waste could face a fine up to $7,000 or one month’s imprisonment.

Council has not yet prosecuted under the Litter Act, but is pursuing offenders under the local Public Places Bylaw, which may lead to individuals being fined up to $500.

“Most residents of Upper Hutt are mindful of the cleanliness of our city and do their bit to keep it clean, but some individuals are letting down our whole community, dumping their household waste in public rubbish bins, which leads to them overflowing creating mess and a safety hazard.” says Lachlan Wallach, Councils Asset Management and Operations Director.

“It is important that people recognise that dumping household waste in public rubbish bins is illegal. While some may believe they are getting off paying for refuse or recycling collection, the community ends up paying for this additional waste, and that quickly adds up.

Council doesn’t like to prosecute its residents, but this issue impacts all of us. Household waste must be disposed of responsibly, and public rubbish bins are not provided for this. I encourage all residents to ‘do the right thing’ and dispose of your household waste through regular household refuse collection and recycling, and let us know when you see someone illegally dumping household waste.”

Residents concerned about illegal dumping of household waste can contact Council on 527 2169.

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