A member of the public alerted Environment Canterbury (ECan) to a 4 square metre pile – about a tandem trailer’s worth of waste dumped off Harris Rd, on the north bank of the river says Marco Cataloni, Waimakariri Zone Delivery lead
The asbestos were in correctly labelled bags with asbestos tape. Despite the label, Cataloni said had the bags split or got wet they would have created an airborne health risk to nearby residents.
“We want to get the message out that this not OK,” he said as he urges the public to come forward if they knew anything to identify who is responsible for the dumping.
“Whoever dumped it knew they were dealing with a hazardous substance.
The asbestos was cleaned up by specialist contractor ProTranz. It took three people and a digger to clear the site and scrape the soil, at a cost to the ratepayer of more than $1000.
“For any rubbish, it’s a false economy to take short cuts and dump,” Cataloni said.
“Besides the risk of individuals being fined, as ratepayers we are all footing the bill for the clean up.”
Under the Resource Management Act, it is an offence to deposit contaminants on land or in water and dumpers can be fined $750 plus clean-up and recovery costs.
“It’s been a problematic year for rubbish, cars, whiteware, even carcasses.
“Dumpers might think they are saving themselves money, but they are costing their friends and neighbours.”
It was particular concern around North Canterbury’s braided rivers which had high ecological values, and were popular recreational areas, he said.
He encouraged members of the public to report all such incidents and reiterate that the community is their eyes and ears, and they are grateful when people care enough to take the time to report.
“It’s only a small number of people that treat the environment so thoughtlessly, but it affects other people.”
For information on how to correctly dispose of asbestos and other hazardous waste in the Waimakariri, visit the council website.
Article Reference and photo credit: https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/120340977/asbestos-clean-up-bill-for-ratepayers-after-illegal-dumping-near-river