20 Sep 2023

Clearing illegally dumped rubbish on the sides of roads is costing ratepayers almost a million dollars a year.

In 2017 it cost Christchurch City Council $16,000 to clear rubbish from streets, but that price has increased, peaking at $330,000 in 2020, $230,000 in 2021 and $105,000 in 2022.

At the end of the last road maintenance contract periods there were 22,229 jobs relating to fly tipping, on top of the 3,142 reports of rubbish dumped in parks in 2023.

“It’s really disappointing to see these jobs continuing to come through and it’s not fair on others who do the right thing,” City Streets Maintenance Manager Steve Guy says.

“The money is coming at the expense of other projects at a time where every single dollar we can put into renewing and repairing roads and footpaths is a priority for the Council and our residents.”

However, the cost is set to increase as levy rates for municipal landfills are increasing from $10 per tonne to $60 per tonne as of July 2024.

It currently costs $50 per tonne.

“If we continue to see the same rates of fly tipping at these new rates, it will end up costing ratepayers more than $1.3 million when the current contract periods end and that’s not including the money that would also be spent clearing dumped rubbish from parks and other Council facilities,” Mr Guy says.

“For that kind of money, we could repair an entire road similar to the length of Shands Road in Hornby, or entirely renew both Quaifes and Marshs Roads which we’d much prefer to be doing.”

Mr Guy says the Council is looking at ways to change behaviour.

“A lot of the rubbish is stuff that can be put in Council red bins for free disposal or when larger items are dumped, it can be really dangerous and a risk to the environment,” he says.

“Although we are looking at options to hold people to account, we would much prefer it didn’t get to that point in the first instance, so we really want people to do the right thing.”

You can use the Snap, Send, Solve app or give the Council a call on 03 941 8999 to report any illegal dumping.