Where the Waikawa River runs out to the sea is a village, with a recreation reserve, a footbridge across the river to the northern part of the beach, and, unfortunately, a vehicle access to the beach, which is officially a road.
Last time I counted, a few weeks ago, there were a total of 7 rubbish bins in the village — one at the vehicle entrance and the others all within a few metres of one another at the reserve and footbridge.
Running south from the village is a 2 Km road that services a total of 3 other roads, which all terminate there. One of those roads has a couple of walking tracks through to the southern part of the beach, which extends all the way down to Ōtaki, 5 Km away.
See also these posts:
It was easy to count the rubbish bins on our ‘side’ — there were precisely none, even though quite a few people start and end their visit to the beach from one of our two walking tracks, especially in summer. Summer is also when they bring bottles and cans of drink, snacks, sandwiches and lollies, often leaving the bottles and wrappers behind when they go.
Back in May I contacted the Council through their online form, asking for rubbish bins. Three weeks later I received a brief letter, in the post, which essentially said
No, we don’t care. I’m paraphrasing, of course.
I decided not to accept being dismissed and some time later emailed asking for details about their assessment, how they objectively quantified the rubbish, how they would quantify the need in future, what the actual costs are and so on — in other words, the concrete details that led to this response. I had a strong suspicion that objective measures didn’t exist and the response had been an off-the-cuff rejection.
To snip the story a little, the original respondent at the Council no longer works for them and I had a phonecall from the new guy who was most sympathetic. Without anyone needing to go into actual costs and measures and whatnot, today we received two handsome bins, one at each track.
I’m thrilled, and have already deposited a full bag of rubbish I picked up from the beach this morning into one of the bins.
When I responded to that dismissive letter I’d already decided to just persist and persevere. I was expecting another dismissive response and was looking into the process for making an Official Information Request.
I’m so pleased both parties don’t have to spend time and energy on all that rigmarole. Now let’s hope the bins see plenty of appropriate use so they don’t get removed again. And, with any luck, maybe fewer people will drop their rubbish on the beach or the side of the road (building contractors: I’m talking to you).