Whakatāne District Council operations staff are extremely disappointed following the discovery of a large amount of waste that has been dumped into a sewer manhole in Coastlands.

Council staff investigated a sewer blockage last week to find a considerable amount of waste which included more than 100 property markers, oil drums, asbestos piping, concrete pieces, rubbish bags and a ladder.

Whakatāne District Council Team Leader Three Waters Operations, Luke Shipton says he is furious about the careless and selfish actions of the person or people who have done this.

“It’s an absolute mess, as you can imagine, and an extremely poor environment to be working in to resolve,” says Mr Shipton. “We have had to dismantle the manhole, and remove the concrete rings to access the dumped rubbish, which is also covered in sewage.

“People might think they’re saving themselves some dollars by dumping illegally, but they’re putting that cost back on to the ratepayers,” he says. “Manholes are access points for Council’s wastewater network and covers should only ever be removed by the appropriately-trained Council staff and contractors.

“We need help to identify the individuals responsible for this disgusting activity, so we can fine them and charge them the cost of repairs to the sewerage system and disposal of waste.”  

While there are costs associated with taking waste to the Whakatāne transfer station, these only cover the cost of responsible removal and disposal.

Anyone who sees illegal dumping taking place is asked to record the vehicle registration number and any other information that may assist in identifying those responsible.