Giant volunteer coastal clean-up
Picking up rubbish might not seem like an ideal way to spend your day off, but Wellington Spark employees think otherwise.
About 150 volunteers, made up of mostly Spark employees, made a day of clearing litter along the Porirua coastline on Friday.
Porirua City Council and the Spark Foundation banded together for the Amazing Coastal Challenge, removing rubbish from 48 kilometres of coastline.
For two years Spark employees in Wellington have used their paid volunteer day to clean up the Miramar Peninsula.
This year the Spark Foundation, of which Porirua mayor Nick Leggett is a board member, focused its efforts on Porirua.
‘‘It’s ambitious, but achievable,’’ Leggett said of the giant clean-up.
Split into two areas, which covered Pukerua Bay to Titahi Bay, the volunteers were armed with rubber gloves, fluorescent vests and council rubbish bags.
Volunteer Kurt Holmes found more than he bargained for in the Pauatahanui area,
His group discovered live eels in some abandoned tyres.
‘‘There’s quite a lot of supermar- ket bags,’’ Spark volunteer Gary Saunders said, surveying the collection.
Fellow volunteer Voula Halikias agreed and said spotting some of the litter was a problem.
‘‘You’re not actually too sure what it is until you get closer,’’ she said.
Organic Wealth completed an audit of the collected rubbish, analysing the litter and its potential sources.
Leanne Myers, Organic Wealth’s director, said any findings about who had caused the litter would be passed on to the council, but there were some obvious markers of rubbish caused by residents.
‘‘You can see it’s general public litter,’’ she said.
Despite the numerous bags of rubbish, Myers was confident the environment could be cleaned up.
‘‘Together we can do it. We can restore the country to its natural beauty.’’
School Gardening Club member Alicia Rich, who was assisting with the audit, noted some litter could be carried by wind.
‘‘We want to find out what’s gone down the river and what’s been dumped by beach goers,’’ she said.
Kurt Holmes, Denise Apostolakis, Voula Halikias and Gary Saunders, with their massive rubbish haul. Tidy Kiwis: Julie Kelly, Nick Mailand, Alan Woods and Mingli Ma dig for rubbish near Fisherman’s Table.