The cleanup of rubbish from Whangaparaoa Peninsula’s beaches on May 5 proved to be the biggest yet for Auckland environmental group Down to Earth Kiwis (DTEK).
DTEK founder Dan Anderton says that around 80-100 adults and 50 children volunteered for the cleanup, which began in Red Beach and covered both sides of the peninsula – a total of 13 beaches. Three boats went along the shoreline to clean up areas less accessible by foot.
Among the 620kg of rubbish brought in were some interesting finds, including a bike, supermarket trolley and two road cones all found in a creek. A king sized mattress and a boat was found dumped on the side of the road and Council was called to collect the boat.
Dan says that by far the most common thing found was cigarette butts, followed closely by alcohol bottles and cans. “Unfortunately there is a common perception that cigarette butts break down quickly however this is not the case. They are probably the most common thing we find on our cleanups,” Dan says.
The teams met up for a prizegiving and barbecue at Sportscave.
“We were so humbled with the turnout,” Dan says. “We will definitely be back to do this again.”