Despite a large-scale clean up last winter, new signage installed by Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC), and the continued efforts of Clean up the Cardrona coordinator Chrissie Thomson, illegal dumping has continued at the Cardrona riverbed, with the recent appearance of a freshly abandoned car as well as bottles and other rubbish.
Eighteen local volunteers picked up 1.2 tonnes of rubbish along several kilometres of the river between State Highway 6 and the Ballantyne Rd bridge in September, and new signage was installed in November - although Thomson warned these would be ineffective due to their small size.
“The volunteers who helped clean up the Cardrona are most frustrated that people do not act responsibly and treat the area as a dumping spot. Many of our locals walk and bike in this area , run in this area, exercise their dogs,” she said.
Jerome Sheppard, DCE Crown Property, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), which has jurisdiction over the land, confirmed that four dumped cars had been removed from the Cardrona River area since November 2020, and LINZ was in contact with QLDC to locate and remove the fifth car. GPS coordinates were needed to confirm it was on Crown Land and arrange removal.
“The QLDC have put up “No Dumping” signs in the area, however signs are often ignored or vandalised,” he said. “We are open to working with councils, community groups and individuals to look at innovative ways of monitoring and protecting our riverbeds from illegal dumping.
“Removing rubbish and dumped cars is an ongoing and challenging issue. We inspect Crown property sites - including the Cardrona River, and remove dumped rubbish. Advice from the public is always helpful if dumping has accumulated between visits. Notification of dumping including the location can be emailed to the Crown property team at firstname.lastname@example.org.”.
“Come on Wānaka! We’re better than this,” said Thomson.
Read edition 1009 of the Wānaka Sun here.