Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Bin filled with rubbish removed from creek

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About 20 shopping trolleys were among the rubbish recently pulled from a local waterway. Photo supplied

Volunteers were left shocked by what they discovered during a major clean-up at an east Auckland waterway.

About 40 people turned out recently for a working bee at the Botany Creek, which runs between Highland Park and Lloyd Elsmore Park.

The two-hour event was funded by the Howick Local Board, organised by Pest Free Howick and staged from Highland Park Community House.

One of the people involved is Tamaki Estuary Environmental Forum co-chair and Howick Local Board member Bruce Kendall.

He says pulled from the creek were about 20 supermarket shopping trolleys, a bicycle, two chairs, a street light, four road cones, numerous broken bottles as well as plastic bottles and bags, balls, polystyrene, rags, a blanket, a school bag with items inside it, baskets, pipes, wheels, tyres, a car battery, and electrical devices.

“Many of these supermarket trolleys had clearly been in the creek for many years judging on how buried and corroded they were,” Kendall says.

“We had to have four to eight people pulling on a rope attached to the trolleys.

“Some took many attempts as they were really stuck.

“We had to leave one supermarket trolley in the creek as it was fully buried in the creek bank with plants growing through it.”

Kendall says he was excited to see a long eel pass him in the creek as well as schools of medium-sized whitebait.

But he’s disappointed to learn people have been seen trying to catch ducks and fishing in the creek to catch eels.

“There could be both longfin and shortfin eels in our streams.

“Longfin eels are an endangered species and are protected. People seen fishing in the creek should be told not to.”

He says it was interesting to note planting along the side of the creek prevented a lot of rubbish getting into it.

“Flooding events had wrapped a lot of rubbish around the trees and flaxes which prevents the pollution from getting into our ocean.

“The trees provide shade, which keeps the water temperature lower and the water quality better for fish.”

Highland Park Community House manager Jennie McCormick says the event drew a “very good” turnout and those involved managed to fill a large bin to the top with rubbish.

“Worst of all was the dog poo bags, just thrown into the bush.

“I was rather shocked at how much rubbish is thrown out into the park.

“It is shameful to say the least.”

McCormick says it’s important to highlight how much rubbish the volunteers managed to pick up in two hours.

She says it’s also important “we all think about our wonderful environment by doing the right thing by putting our rubbish in bins or out for collection”.

Among the volunteers also were local board member David Collings and Howick ward council candidate Damian Light.

The clean-up was followed by a barbecue.

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