The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is taking steps to reduce the amount of rubbish being dumped in pits alongside State Highway 8 between Omarama and Twizel, by fencing the pits off.
NZTA Otago-Southland State Highways Manager, Niclas Johansson says rubbish ranging from old car bodies to broken washing machines is being left in these pits that have been in the area for many years. The NZTA has not given anyone approval to dump material in these pits.
“People using these pits as a free rubbish tip, has been a long running problem that has worsened in the last year or two. Anyone caught dumping rubbish in them could face a $200 fine from the Waitaki District Council. They would also have to remove the rubbish or pay someone else to do it.”
Mr Johansson say the ideal solution to this problem would be to fill the pits in but that is simply to expensive. Instead, the NZTA is looking at the next best option which is to fence them off, with the Agency aiming to have fencing in place by the end of July.
Mr Johansson added that in the meantime the NZTA’s contractor will carry out regular tidy ups of the pits. Consideration is also being given to a joint public awareness campaign targeting Omarama and Twizel residents. Any campaign is likely to involve the Waitaki District Council, Mckenzie District Council and local community boards.