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Council urges responsible disposal of garden waste

Dumping garden waste is detrimental to our ecosystems, says Waikato Regional Council.

Earlier this week, a council biosecurity pest plant officer in the Coromandel Peninsula caught a man dumping a trailer load of garden waste on the side of the road, south of Tairua.

“It’s that time of the year when people clean up their gardens, but deal with it responsibly,” says biosecurity pest plant team leader Darion Embling.

“A lot of the time the plants that are being cleared from gardens are ones that completely take over – that’s why they’re being cleared in the first place. If you then introduce them to a native environment, that’s not cool.”

The man dumping his garden waste had cleared jasmine, woolly nightshade and Japanese honeysuckle from his property.

“In this particular area, we have been working in the coastal marine area, taking out pest plants, and here we have someone else adding to the monkey on our back,” says Mr Embling.

“There is evidence of people dumping garden waste in this area. Some plants we’re taking out aren’t spread by anything but people.

“Offloading your problem down a bank is not sorting a problem out. It has to be done properly.”

Garden waste needs to be taken to a refuse station or be dealt with onsite, either by composting or rotting down any plant species that have a tendency to spread.

Mr Embling says the man who was caught dumping garden waste was photographed in the act and reported to the Thames-Coromandel District Council compliance team for possible infringement.

Waikato Regional Council has fact sheets on pest plants, which includes how to control them and dispose of them responsibly. See www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/plant-pests(external link).

Photo: A man was caught dumping garden waste down a bank, south of Tairua.

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