More than a quarter of a tonne of litter has been cleared from the sides of Apley and Puketitiri roads by volunteers.
“We’re glad we’ve been able to get rid of it, but really? Who thinks it is okay to chuck rubbish out the car window,” said pick-up organiser Nick Lowe.
The good work was done by members of the Hawke’s Bay Naturist Club, based in Glengarry Rd, and friends.
Mr Lowe kicked the initiative off. The regular cyclist had long been disgusted by the amount of litter he rode past in the rural area – especially broken glass - but on the bike could not do much about it. Off work due to the COVID lockdown, he started walking and picking up the trash.
“My intention was to pick up just the broken glass after my dog Ace suffered a cut paw on broken glass. However, eight days later, I had amassed four Council rubbish bags full of people’s discards. Once this stretch of road was clean I turned up Glengarry road for three kilometres; then two weeks later from the club to 1.5ks into Apley Rd. That stretch was abysmal.”
He said the most common items were takeaway wrapping and energy drink bottles, followed closely by beer bottles.
And so he decided to organise a big clean-up, calling on the good will of club members and friends. Fifteen turned up on the day, armed with traffic safety signs, trailers, bags, gloves and hand sanitiser. In just four hours, the 15-strong group picked up 380 kilos of rubbish along 16 kilometres of road.
“It was a great effort by the team,” said Mr Lowe. “But what we really want is people to stop treating our roads and streets as a rubbish bin. This is not cool.”
He challenged other rural communities to get out and clean up their patch, but also to spread the message that rubbish belongs in the bin – not on the side of the road.
16 November 2020
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