Rubbish yields surprise

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Rubbish dumped on an open area of land on Beach Rd has yielded more than the usual discarded household rubbish.

As well as drink cartons, lawn and tree clippings and miscellaneous items such as pigs’ trotters, boat ramp and camping fee envelopes from several Waitaki Lakes campsites have been found in the rubbish.

The empty envelopes dated from late December last year to early in January this year, would have contained various amounts of money. Amounts shown on the outside of the envelopes vary from $5 to launch a boat to the largest amount of $120 made for a caravan parking spot at Parsons Rock.

Waitaki District Council recreation manager Erik van der Spek said it looked like the envelopes were taken from the site.

“We haven’t received the payments from these sites so it looks like they were somehow taken from the box,” Mr van der Spek said.

“We can’t see any damage to the box so somehow they have got something in through the slot where the payments are placed and removed the payments.”

Mr van der Spek said they would look at ways of stopping this.

“Cameras are certainly an option that we will look to explore, while also looking at the possibility of making the payment holes smaller to stop something like this happening in the future.”

The boxes are the same as most around the country, Mr van der Spek said.

The honesty boxes are made from steel plate and are securely locked.

“They are a standard design and none appear to have been damaged,” he said.

“It would have been quite difficult to access the envelopes once they were in the box, but obviously someone has been able to.

“We are now looking at increasing our security of the boxes and this may include installing security cameras.”

Household rubbish dumped on roadsides such as Beach Rd and in camping ground bins remained a problem for the council, Mr van der Spek said.

“Two of the worst-affected camping sites are Aviemore and Otematata,” he said.

“Camping ground bins are there for campers to use. Summer visitors to cribs or holiday homes should either take their rubbish home or dispose of it properly,” he said.

Council personnel go through illegally dumped waste and try to investigate the owner.

Often this is done through an addressed envelope or letter, an invoice, or prescription medicine bottle.

When the owner is found, the council either charges the owner for all costs (including investigation and clean-up costs) or will prosecute.

Reports of illegal dumping should be made to the council.

By Jacquie Webby and Brayden Lindsay

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – Oamaru Community Constable Bruce Dow checks out some of the rubbish found in an open area of land on Beach Rd. The rubbish included some boat ramp and camping fee envelopes which had been stolen.