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Aiming to be litter free in Napier

Napier residents are keen supporters of Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Clean Up initiative,  judging by the number of participants who have signed up to take part this year.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful Clean Up Week officially runs from next Monday, 12 September, to Sunday 18 September. Participants include the National Aquarium of New Zealand, the Napier City and Hawke’s Bay Regional youth councils, Te Awa, Taradale Primary, Marewa and Westshore schools, Otatara Children’s Centre, the NZ Motor Caravan Association, Cathedral Environment Justice and Peace Network, and Bay View Community Charitable Trust.

The number of coastal based events alone means clean ups are happening from Bay View right through to Awatoto, says Rhett van Veldhuizen, Napier City Council Solid Waste Manager.

“It is fantastic to see how many people make the effort to help. Anything we can do to stress that littering is never OK is good.”

Marine mammals in particular are in danger from rubbish either dumped at sea or washed onto beaches, he adds, something National Aquarium Educator Jacque Wilton wholeheartedly agrees with.

“Several times a year, the staff of the National Aquarium of New Zealand roll up their sleeves and take on the challenge of keeping our beaches clean and tidy for the amazing animals we share the environment with,” she says.

Penguins can mistake fishing line for nesting material, fish can mistake polystyrene balls for food and turtles can think plastic bags are jellyfish. Every year millions of marine animals are injured, maimed and killed due to litter, when it only takes a moment to dispose of rubbish properly in rubbish or recycling bins, says Jacque. The Aquarium’s clean up event this year is being held from 10am to 11am on Wednesday 14 September.

Keep NZ Beautiful Clean Up Week has the full support of Council, which extends its usual rubbish run to cater for the groups and individuals taking part. The initiative’s main aim is to increase community participation of all kinds, but also to address issues of sustainability, environment, health, crime and social inclusion. They work in partnership with government bodies to deliver on sustainable and environmental initiatives.

Members of the public are welcome to join Aquarium Staff between 10am and 11am on Wednesday 14 September for the clean up between the Aquarium and the Spirit of Napier, or Council staff and Te Awa School students for the Harakeke Walkway clean-up, which begins at 11.30am Thursday 15 September at the Chambers Street end of the walkway. For more information, please contact the Napier City Council Solid Waste Manager on +6468344186.

For more information about Keep NZ Beautiful, please visit their website: www.knzb.org.nz

12 May 2017

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