28 Jul 2012

Councillors defend right to scavenge

7:45 pm on 28 July 2012

Auckland councillors are backing the right of residents to scavenge for valuable items in roadside inorganic collections.

They have removed a clause from a proposed bylaw that would have banned the picking over of old appliances and rubbish put out for council-organised collections.

Council staff say hundreds of people, some commercial scrap dealers, scour the collections.

They say smashing large items to retrieve valuable parts creates hazards and reduces the value of the recyclables to the official collector.

But a majority of councillors have defended what they say is a long-standing practice and a way of recycling usable items and making a bit of money.

The debate about roadside scavenging now goes out for public consultation along with other proposed new bylaws on waste.