A portable gas cooker, oil containers, and part of a car boot were found dumped in a Rotorua stream on the weekend.
Rotorua’s Dahna Fleming was at the Geyser City Squash Club on Sunday, coaching the D-Grade men who were playing off to represent the Bay of Plenty at Nationals later this year.
Between the games, she had a few hours to spare and decided to go for a walk down Depot St and came across a stream.
But she was disgusted to see what she believed looked like “oil canisters, or diesel canisters” and a panel of a vehicle in the water.
“I did think about going down and getting it out, but it didn’t look safe.”
She uploaded the photos on to social media and tagged the Bay of Plenty Regional Council who she said responded to her promptly and dealt with the rubbish.
Fleming lives in Paradise Valley and said she saw rubbish dumped there “all the time”.
She suspected people dumped rubbish on the side of the road as it could be expensive to properly get rid of it.
Aside from the “horrific” rubbish scenes, Fleming was able to celebrate with her squash team who are off to Blenheim for the Nationals in September.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council compliance manager Stephen Mellor confirmed all the rubbish was removed from the waterway by mid-afternoon on Sunday.
Found in the stream were eight 40L oil containers, all empty and intact, plus a tool kit box, chainsaw chaps, wader chaps, the back section of a car boot, a portable gas cooker, jackets, a water blaster, bike tyres and a bike helmet.
Other items not part of the “fresh dumping” were a gas heater and a hot water cylinder, Mellor said.
“No oil slick or grease was observed so absorbent booms were not deployed.”
When asked if rubbish dumping was becoming an increasing concern, Mellor said the regional council received about 100 environmental complaints about rubbish dumping each year from across the region, totalling 3 per cent of the calls received through the 24/7 pollution hotline.
“Between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, we received 19 calls about rubbish being dumped in the Rotorua District, with three being located in or near the Utuhina Stream.
“Fly-tipping (rubbish dumping) is not pretty and it comes at a substantial cost to the community, not only financially but socially and environmentally too.”
Mellor said while the council did their best to clean up rubbish as soon as it was aware of it, it shouldn’t be there in the first place.
What to do if rubbish dumping is spotted?
• If you see people illegally dumping rubbish make sure you report it to your local council or if it’s in or near a waterway the Pollution Hotline on 0800 884 883.
• Regional Council prefers if people call the 24/7 pollution hotline because it is less likely to be missed, as is the case with social media.