Te Whakapōrearea, Otaota me te Parahanga

Nuisance, Litter & Dumping

Littering & Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping, also known as 'fly tipping’, is when someone disposes of their rubbish in a public place or on another person's private property. It generally involves large amounts of rubbish like bags or piles of household waste dumped on roadsides, in parks and near our waterways.

Littering refers to smaller items of waste which are easily thrown away - like food wrappers thrown on a footpath.

Depositing household or commercial rubbish in public rubbish bins is also a form of illegal dumping.

Littering and illegal dumping is unpleasant to see in the community but it can also be dangerous, pose a risk to the environment and to public health.

Another part of the problem is the cost of cleaning it up falls on our ratepayers. It is however, a problem we can work on together to reduce these costs and help protect our environment.

Report Illegally Dumped Rubbish

If you come across some illegally dumped waste in a public place, avoid moving it or looking through it as this may impact how our officers can deal with the issue. However, if identifiers such as names and addresses on letters are visible, take photos and report it to Council as soon as you can.

To report an issue:

  • Use the Snap Send Solve app - it's important to do this from the location you've spotted the illegal dumping as the app uses your phone's GPS data as the location for your report
  • Lodge a service request online
  • Email office@wmk.govt.nz
  • Call us on 0800 965 468

Snap Send Solve is the best way to lodge a report, but if that's not possible, note down the location as best you can, give a description of the rubbish and any visible identifiers. Photos are helpful.

If you witness someone dumping rubbish, avoid any confrontation and be discreet if taking photos or recording information such as vehicle details. Don't put yourself at risk.

Fly Dumping Around Our Rivers

It can get a little confusing around our rivers. Any illegal dumping found on riverbeds and riverbanks in the Waimakariri District comes under the jurisdiction of Environment Canterbury. This includes the entire Waimakariri River Regional Park area.

To report rubbish and illegal dumping at any of our rivers in the District, including the riverbanks, report this to Environment Canterbury via Snap Send Solve, visit the ECan website or call ECan Customer Services.

If you're not too sure, just give us a call on 0800 965 468.

What We Can Do

There are a range of options for dealing with the issue and it will depend on the situation. Our Environmental Officers may:

  • issue infringement notices for littering and illegal dumping
  • charge for costs of investigation and any clean-up required
  • take offenders to court which can result in a sizeable fine

Wherever possible, Council tries to identify the owner to issue infringement notices and charge for costs, so it's worth letting us know if you come across something.

Public Health Nuisance

Public health 'nuisances' cover a range of situations including:

  • excessive amounts of rubbish
  • overcrowding
  • raw sewage
  • breeding of pests (mosquitoes, rats, cockroaches)
  • unsanitary living conditions
  • asbestos containing materials
  • chemical contamination

If a complaint is made about a nuisance (such as those listed above) our Environmental Health Officers will inspect the property to determine if a nuisance exists.

The officer may issue and enforce health nuisance abatement notices, cleansing orders or repair orders. In some circumstances requiring immediate action, officers may enter a premise without notice to put an end to the nuisance. Costs incurred will be charged to the premise owner/occupier.

One-offs rarely qualify as a nuisance because an element of repetition is usually required. The context of location will also be considered, as something which may be a nuisance in a residential area may not be in an industrial location.

Last reviewed date: 21 Mar 2024