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'Be a tidy Kiwi' gets new lease of life

Mon, 31 May 2004

'Be a tidy Kiwi' gets new lease of life

From 8 June, Manukau City litterbugs will be the target of an intensive campaign to get the increasing number of cigarette butts, ATM receipts and fast food wrappers off our streets and out of our waterways.

Six local councils in the Auckland region have joined forces to breathe life into 'Be a tidy Kiwi', a campaign that combated littering in the late-1970s.

The 2004 version, called 'Come on: Be a tidy Kiwi', has a modern twist highlighting some of the weak excuses people have come up with to justify dropping litter.

Manukau City Council's Environmental Management Committee Chairperson, Cr Noel Burnside, says some of the excuses are incredible and there seems to be a growing apathy towards using rubbish bins or taking rubbish home.

"We continually have to remind people to dispose of their rubbish responsibly. They just don't seem to understand the impact that dropping litter on the street has on everyone's environment," he says.

"These days, a bin being too far to reach from a car window seems to be a good enough reason to drop a burger wrapper or drink container on to the road, even though it could end up in the storm water system and ultimately the sea.

Litter audits carried out by participating councils show that cigarette butts, ATM receipts and fast food wrappers make up a significant component of all street litter.

"Our posters, billboards and website will clearly target these litter items while 'Come on: Be a tidy Kiwi' representatives will be on streets and in shopping malls asking people about their littering habits and spreading the word about putting rubbish in bins where it belongs."

Cr Noel Burnside, says illegal dumping and litter cleanups are an added, cost to ratepayers and talking directly to individuals about the issue will have a greater impact on changing littering habits.

"The face-to-face approach is likely to have more of an influence on people who drop litter in public places, so we're going to use it in some of the city's shopping areas," says Councillor Burnside.

Come on: Be a tidy Kiwi runs from 8 June- 16 July and representatives will be at both the St George Street, Papatoetoe shopping centre and the Otara Town Centre on June 25 and the Manurewa shopping centre on 26 une. For more information, people can telephone the Manukau City Council Call Centre on 262 5104 or visit www.manukau.govt.nz to check out the lame excuses.


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