Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
Send news

News tags

mental health  physical activity  earthquake  vacancies  families  public health  children  funding  poverty  health determinants  social  Community development  planning  employment  healthy cities  volunteers  newsletter  youth  volunteering  nutrition  employment opportunity  housing  alcohol and drugs  maori  community engagement  rebuilding  wellbeing  disabilities  Lectures  counselling  Training  earthquake recovery  sustainability  event  community gardens  Community  seminar  Awards  stress  Community Groups  mens health  research  arts  smokefree  culture  men  exercise  migrants  community event  education  environment  resilience  human rights  health  medical  business  sport  conferences  survey  mental wellbeing  Courses  obesity  elderly  support group  environmental health  healthy food  health promotion  violence  pacific health  resources  rebuild  women  race relations  meeting  gardens  workshop  services  leadership  forum  water  disabled  repair  transport  prevention  pacific  dance  fundraising  asian health  sexual health  inequality  cancer  support  disasters  development  mindfulness  dementia  presentation  collaboration  health in all policies  data analysis  recovery  smoking  law  drugs and alcohol  technology  safety  cycling  Sleep  policy  parenting  media  hearing  walking  land  neighbours  social justice  qualification  resilient cities  information  community connection  consultation  oral health  bullying  depression  youth empowerment  young people  activities  non-profit  charity  harm  NURSES  addiction  disease  Communication  alcohol  symposium  submission  anxiety  accessibility  Relationships  eating  economics  Advocacy  eLearning  falls  parking  energy  efficiency  heating  insulation  advice  Eating Disorders  abuse  waste  Matariki  webinar  diabetes  workplace  Film  Climate Change  solutions  urban  management  economy  plan  restoration  Report  Vulnerability  welfare  parks  learning  awareness  emergencies  legislation  injury prevention  reading  Meeting Room  conservation  language  refugees  recreation  built environment  data  venue  urban design  Food  older people  finances  suicide  heritage  gender  recycling  breastfeeding  public  identity  Nursing  submissions  Rainbow  biodiversity  campaign  promotion  Gut Health  diversity  therapy  older adults  sexuality  computing  pollution  School Holidays  Arts Therapy  providers  gambling  Maori health  Cervical cancer  screening  trauma  autism  Governance  treaty of waitangi  care  mentoring  pets  relaxation  Professional Development  pornography  exhibition  history  discrimination  vaping  equity  lockdown  grief  rural  hygiene  participation  tourism  summer  intervention  warning  podcast  science  petition  swimming  roadworks  traffic  wildlife  beaches  pools  immunisation  vaccination  brain  preparation  open day  market  evaluation  noise  music  property  testing  crafts  CALD  cultural diversity  camping  creativity  child health  tamariki  climate action  refugee  migrant  community events  road safety  library  Hornby  skills  placemaking  regenerative communities  journey  reflection  regional council  councillors  water management  emergency management  retirement  stress management  Christmas  family  festival  alcohol harm  waterways  planting  health protection  legionnaire's disease  hepatitis  heatwaves  river beds  water safety  fishing  gardening  workshops  stormwater  biosecurity  volunteer  plant and animal pest management  politics  faith  crime  drugs  pregnancy  native birds  Waimakariri  water quality  schools  health professionals  heart disease  kura  school  ethical issues  rangatahi  Linwood  running  donations  whanau  financial pressures  online  health professional  flooding  conflict  peace  winter 

Green waste putting waterways at risk

Wednesday, May 17, 2023   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: waste, management, environmental health

Environment Canterbury media release: 16th May 2023

Illegal dumping is rife across the region and it’s not just the inorganic items that are putting our flood protection, biodiversity, and water health at risk.

With many people taking the recent long weekends to maintain their gardens in preparation for winter, there's often an increase in green waste making its way into our local waterways.

Green waste like hedge trimming and branches is natural and will break down eventually, but it’s still important this is disposed of correctly. Left to break down in our waterways, it can lead to obstructions and damage to flood protection infrastructure which needs to be operating optimally, particularly at this time of year, Flood Protection - Recovery Manager Shaun McCracken said.

"Green waste can lead to blocked culverts, floodgates and other critical infrastructure, preventing stormwater from draining away," he said.

"That can be difficult and sometimes impossible to remove during a storm or flood event, which can exacerbate issues at an already challenging time. Our rivers have high ecological value and dumping rubbish in them can harm water quality, native habitat and also hinder flood protection measures."

"We’re also very aware that some of our river systems affected by the 2021 floods are still congested with trees and debris from that event. Clearing these is a big task that we’re making good progress on, but this is not yet complete."

The cost of green waste on our environment

Green waste is also often the first point of contact for the spread of weeds, such as old man’s beard. Weed infestations can destroy native species and flood protection plantings, with control measures and damage to flood protection infrastructure costing the community.

Even seemingly innocuous lawn clippings have unwanted chemical break-down processes which are not helpful for maintaining healthy waterways.

Of course, it’s not just green waste that is a problem when it makes its way to our waterways. Inorganic items which do not break down are increasingly being discovered illegally dumped in our riverbeds regionwide. Not only can these items be a health and safety issue for members of the public, animals and those having to remove the rubbish, but having these items removed appropriately also comes with a cost to ratepayers.

Dumping rubbish is an offence under the Resource Management Act and carries with it an immediate $750 infringement, along with any costs associated with removal of the rubbish.

In many instances, materials that are dumped could have been disposed of for free at local waste stations, which also offer cheaper disposal rates for green waste than general rubbish.

Green waste can also be composted into nutritious feed for your garden or it can also be burnt - if you meet the conditions of the Canterbury Air Regional Plan.

What you can do to help

At this time of year, it’s more important than ever that we ensure our waterways and the structures within them are able to do the job they’re designed to do and that means keeping them clear and unobstructed.

Shaun encourages people to contact us if they see illegal dumping taking place.

If you see suspicious activity or rubbish being dumped in a riverbed, please note the details of the vehicle and location, and report it:

"It’s really disappointing when rubbish is dumped in our riverbeds," he said.

"The community values its rivers and the ratepayer should not have to bear the cost of this illegal activity."