A team of waterway cleaners have removed 2000 litres of rubbish and recyclables from Weiti River in Auckland.
Auckland City Council Mayor Phil Goff said it was a disgrace that people had been dumping rubbish in the river.
“Our waterways are havens for wildlife and places for Aucklanders to enjoy their natural environment,” he said.
“It’s only a small number of individuals who are choosing to dump rubbish, damaging the environment and ruining other people’s enjoyment of this ecosystem.
“They need to stop, and I would urge anyone who sees such behaviour to contact Auckland Council so those responsible for littering or illegal dumping can be fined or prosecuted.”
The Weiti River plays a significant role as part of a network of streams that flow through the Hibiscus and Bays area of Auckland and out to Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve.
The litter was discovered and removed from underneath a small concrete dock accessible only by a rough narrow informal walkway or by boat.
“Restore Hibiscus and Bays facilitators were told about the litter by community members who were doing weed workshops in the area,” a Council spokesperson said.
“They shared stories of people dropping their plastic while fishing off the dock. This info was relayed to Auckland Council’s community parks team who organised to get it promptly addressed.”
“Seacleaners stepped in to help clear this dock, which is being modified by Auckland Council to minimise future incidences of litter.”
Captain Hayden Smith of Seacleaners managed the cleanup and says, “The work we’re doing to protect our oceans actually starts on land. If people consider their actions and dispose of rubbish correctly, or pick it up when they see it, that will help us on the water.”
“I wish that this dumping surprised me, but we have pulled over 10.5 million litres of waste from our waterways since 2002,” he said.
“An average of 10,000 litres a day of rubbish is pulled out of the water and off our coastlines.”