Illegal dumping and messy scavenging are the downsides to the inorganic rubbish collections. An orderly pile which was neat and tidy when the householder put out his or her rejects, can look like something from a slum in an underdeveloped country once the scavengers have finished foraging and looting for any saleable pieces, smashing electrical items, and leaving paper and polystyrene blowing in the wind. Added to which, the council claims it costs $1 million a year to clean up illegal dumping.

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Biennial Inorganic Rubbish on the Kerbside

It’s that time of year again: the householders of Auckland are disgorging vast quantities of unwanted items, and piles of cast-offs of varying descriptions are appearing on the kerbsides and grass verges around the city. Auckland is either blessed or cursed, depending on your point of view, with its latest two-yearly inorganic rubbish collection, when the council vans trundle round collecting the masses of rejected junk spewed out by households in varying degrees of magnitude. For a few days, before the council trucks arrive, the kerbside piles look like miniature recreations of the massive tips in third world countries, with people picking through them to see what items they might claim as their own.

These collections are rare overseas – in London you can take your household rubbish and rejects to the local council tip free of charge – but they have been running…

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