Nelson City Council is defending the trial removal of rubbish bins along Tāhunanui Beach despite online backlash.
The council says it has removed bins along the beach to minimise the risk of fly-away litter from over-flowing bins and says it is increasing the capacity of other bins further from the water.
The removal of bins across the beachfront has sparked debate on the council’s Facebook page.
One commenter labelling the decision as “careless and poorly thought through”.
The council has defended the removal saying the beachfront bins detract from the look and feel of what is an otherwise natural environment.
The council labelled the trial as the environmentally responsible approach in the hopes that people will take their rubbish with them as it is not always possible to service the bins as soon as they become full.
“The rationale is that if people see bins, they know that there will be a public service to remove any litter. This can encourage people to abdicate responsibility for their waste and consequently, care less about it. In areas where there are bins, even if they are full, people still tend to leave their waste beside the bin as they assume it will be picked up through scheduled servicing. If there are no bins, the vast majority of people will take their waste with them to dispose of at another bin in the vicinity, or at home.”
Young environmentalist Sophie Weenink Smith feels community feedback has been ignored, describing the trial as “concerning”.
“People won’t get on board with picking up rubbish. If the tide comes in and there is no decent person to pick up some lazy persons rubbish then off it goes into the ocean,” says Sophie.
The 15-year-old regularly organises beach and river clean-ups and believes the removal of bins will see the similar levels of rubbish she’s seen across Maitai River.
In a Facebook post on Monday council says the removal of bins from public spaces including urban parks and beaches has been effective in other cities in New Zealand.
Bins will remain in the busier locations back from the beach at Tāhunanui Recreation Reserve, in the car parks, at beach entrance and exit points, and in the playground and other recreation areas.