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Tidy Kiwi urges Aucklanders to play their part

Tidy Kiwi urges Aucklanders to play their part

Next time you toss away your cigarette butt or ATM receipt you might like to remember that you are contributing to almost 1600 tonnes of loose litter that Auckland City is expected to collect from its streets this year.

That is the message from Auckland City, which has joined other councils in the region to kick-off a rejuvenated ‘Be a Tidy Kiwi’ campaign.

The campaign, launching on Monday 7 June, involves Auckland, Waitakere, North Shore and Manukau city councils and Papakura and Rodney district councils. The councils hope to raise awareness of the problems litter causes in the region.

“Litter is a major problem facing the region and we all need to play a part to reduce it. About 1600 tonnes of loose litter, which does not include rubbish from the bins, is a real blight on our landscape and a real hazard for our waterways,” says Surendra Dass, manager of Streetscape Operations at Auckland City.

“It’s not just a matter of picking up litter from the streets. We need to remember that litter gets into the stormwater system, which ends up being emptied into the sea. Birds or marine animals may mistake it for food, or rubbish such as plastic bags can trap animals and eventually kill them,” he says.

The Waitemata Harbour Clean-up Trust is a charitable organisation that oversees the removal of litter from Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour and inner gulf islands. As at January 2004, the Trust had collected 59 cubic metres of rubbish from the harbour within the Auckland City borders since it began in 2002. The most common items picked up by the trust’s boat, the Phil Warren, were plastic bottles, caps and plastic bags.

“All of us need to think about where litter will end up. Next time people throw away a cigarette butt, we want them to stop and think that it may end up in the gut of a fish they catch next weekend,” Mr Dass says.

The campaign is being promoted in several ways: ten buses in the region with a series of ‘lame excuses’ for littering on the back bumper stickers, car rubbish bags and fridge magnets are being given away through the Auckland City website. ‘tidy kiwis’ handing out freebies and information. They will be in the central business district (CBD) around High Street on Thursday 10 June and in Glen Innes on Saturday 18 June. fun educational material for children on the Auckland City website.

You can request a bumper sticker and car rubbish bag, or try out the fun activities, through the Auckland City website at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/tidykiwi or by phoning (09) 379 2020.

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