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Illegal dumping campaign comes to an end with a bang

31 Jan 2023

Buller District Council’s illegal dumping summer campaign has come to an end with a bang.

To demonstrate the extent of the issue, 470 kg of illegally dumped rubbish collected by contractors at Shingle Beach and North Beach was displayed outside the Clocktower in Westport on Saturday 28 January 2023.

Council’s solid waste coordinator Juliana Ruiz says: “Illegal dumping has become a huge problem in Buller. From public litter bins being used to dispose of household waste, to large amounts of rubbish being dumped at the beach, in the bushes, tipped down cliffs, or along gravel roads.

“We wanted to outline the scale of the problem with this display, create awareness and understanding of how much of an issue illegal dumping is.”

The illegal dumping campaign consisted of Facebook posts illustrating various forms of illegal dumping Council is seeing. The social media campaign gained a lot of attention with people supporting the campaign in their comments, suggesting ideas on how others can reduce waste to reduce their rubbish bill, and asking questions around where Buller’s recycling and waste goes.

Ms Ruiz says: “Residents also highlighted the cost of rubbish in the district in their comments. We are considering including rubbish wheelie bins in the new waste contract as an option from mid-2024 onwards. However, waste disposal is getting more expensive in New Zealand and the only way to save money is to cut down on the waste people produce.”

The social media campaign along with the rubbish display emphasises that whilst people may only dump one bag of rubbish somewhere, they are contributing to the larger issue by polluting the environment, ruining Buller’s pristine landscape, and causing a cost to all ratepayers.

Ms Ruiz says: “Somebody always has to pay the price of illegal dumping, and unfortunately it falls on the rate payers. It costed council $1,053 NZD excl. GST to collect and dispose 470 kg of illegally dumped waste from Shingle Beach and North Beach that was displayed in front of the Clocktower last Saturday.”

Following the campaign, new signage at freedom camping and recreational areas will be installed to inform residents and visitors how and where to responsibly dispose of their rubbish.

The recycling options are large and ever improving across Buller, offering various types of free recycling initiatives such as e-waste and battery recycling thanks to local and national partnerships.

New projects such as the Construction and Demolition Waste Recovery Project, and the Maruia Recycling Facility will continue to support residents to reduce waste, along with ongoing education on the importance of responsibly disposing of waste.


further information please contact:
Solid waste coordinator
Juliana Ruiz