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Tuesday 20 September 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Environment, National
Staff from Motu Villas with the waste they collected on Friday. 22091811
Eighteen teams of people from businesses, government
departments and schools participated in the clean-up day in Rarotonga. The
event was organised by the National Environment Service (NES).
A media release from NES said all teams were allocated
sites along the foreshore and streams which had been problematic areas for
In Aitutaki, primary school students from Araura,
Vaitau and Te Akaaroa focused their waste collection on the school grounds,
along the foreshore and the village community halls.
In Atiu, a small NES team along with a newly appointed
NES environment officer collected over 30kg waste from around the harbour area.
Rarotonga has always had the highest amount of waste
collected on Clean Up the Cooks Day.
NES director Halatoa Fua said in 2019 prior to the
borders closing, close to 900kg of waste was collected.
“In 2020 and 2021, the amount of waste collected fell,
but with the economy now booming, the amount of waste has increased.
“Thank you to everyone who took part this year. We
hope that next year even more people will take part in this community activity.
“It would also be great of course to see the amount of
littering happening reduce substantially. That is everyone’s responsibility.”
Prior to the event, Fua said Rarotonga’s waste
mountain was steadily growing and was a major concern for the community.
The Cook Islands was part of a global World Cleanup
Day comprising of 191 countries. In the past the event had 60 million
volunteers and 303,000kg of waste collected.
The clean-up event has been running for more than
20 years in the Cooks Islands.