Some residents may have noticed that the Coast was looking cleaner on Queen’s Birthday Monday. It was thanks to the efforts of around 52 locals who spent time collecting litter from many areas, especially Whangaparāoa Peninsula, as part of a community-wide clean-up.
The event was hosted by the Whangaparāoa Recycling Centre and Hibiscus Coast Zero Waste and was held on World Environment Day, Sunday June 5.
Everyone who took part brought their waste into the recycling centre to be audited and weighed, then separated for recycling or disposal.
Almost 80kg of waste was picked up. The recycling centre’s Sarah Williams says around 41 percent of the rubbish was potentially recyclable, including soft plastics and Tetrapaks. However, the poor condition that much of the plastic was found in meant not all of it could actually be recycled.
Around 46 percent was rubbish and 12 percent was reusable.
Disposable masks were one of the most common things found, along with plastic straws, lolly packets, drink cans, glass bottles and takeaway containers (particularly from McDonalds).
A separate container for single use tableware, such as takeaway coffee cups, soon filled up.
Golf balls and lots of socks were also found.
Among the participants was the Ellison family, who focused their cleaning efforts on Okoromai Bay in Shakespear Regional Park. There, they found 3.6kg of rubbish, including pieces of party balloons, rusted tools, a baby’s bottle and quite a lot of glass.
One of the things they observed was bags of dog poo, poked into gaps in trees, or hanging on branches.
With no rubbish bins at Okoromai, it appears dog walkers are collecting the poo in plastic bags and opting to leave it behind in the park.
Claire Ellison said having a specific day for a clean-up is a good reminder to take a close look at what people discard and help to remove it.
“The clean-up was very well organised, with bags and gloves provided,” she said. “We were all concerned that we found so much when we looked closely.”