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30 families could be clothed with what school’s picked up

Thirty families could be clothed with what school’s picked up

This week has been Cleanup New Zealand Week and one group in the community has picked up 17,782 pieces of waste from our beaches. That group is our local school children.

Over the last two weeks 4000 local school children from Hicks Bay to Wairoa have worked with the Sustainable Coastlines charity learning about the problems of litter and the effects on our oceans and our own health. Fifteen of the schools took the extra step and cleaned up their local beach.

The waste they picked up was all sorted, weighed and counted to get a better picture of the problem.

Enough clothing for 30 families was recovered. This was 779 individual pieces of clothing and shoes.

The big items were the 4557 bottles, both plastic and glass and a similar amount of takeaway food packaging collected. Together these weighed three quarters of a tonne.

Plastics do not weigh very much but there were nearly a thousand plastic bags picked up and 3000 bits of other plastic. Vehicle parts and tyres amounted to a staggering one tonne of waste picked up.

The cleanup recovered over 3 tonnes, equivalent to 21 cubic metres, of waste.

“This waste starts its life at our kerbsides and finds its way, via rain and wind, to our coast and beaches” said Anne Lister, Gisborne District Council’s Environmental Health Educator.

“Council requested this environmental education programme and it was a follow up from the cleanup of our coast organised by Sustainable Coastlines at New Year 2010. The fact that is coincided with the big cleanup of our district prior to the Rugby World Cup was an added benefit.”

ENDS

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