Last week, the international charity, Seacleaners, visited Awhitu as part of the Seaweek celebration to collect years worth of rubbish that had washed up along the local shorelines.
The charity is dedicated to removing rubbish from the sea, harbour and oceans, and already, 142 tonnes of rubbish has been collected from the Manukau Harbour.
This year was said to be a ‘bumper collection’ from Awhitu, which has seen residents collecting and storing rubbish from the local beaches for the last year. Seacleaners came out on Wednesday 1 March to take the rubbish away.
Filling a boat, as well as the back of a ute, much of the plastic waste from the suburban Manukau Harbour is domestic rubbish which has been dumped onto estuary frontages. It was said that the coastal collections consisted of rubbish from the Waikato river, notably plastic bottles, lids, and shotgun wadding, stormwater plastic and debris from fishing operations.
Some of the rubbish could be recycled, including the large fishbins that were collected. They are made of tough plastic, and it was said ‘they had 101 uses.’ Another unusual item that washed up in their ‘hundreds’ were clothes pegs.
“A massive thanks goes to the many people who I don’t know and are helping keep Hamiltons Gap tidy by lugging bags of rubbish from Cochrane’s to the road,” said Anna McNaughton.
Derek and Christine Schofield, who have been described as stalwarts for this initiative, now have a clean shed which is ready to begin storing for the next Seaweek rubbish collection.