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Tuesday 20 September 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Environment, National


750 kilos of waste from clean-up day
Staff from Motu Villas with the waste they collected on Friday. 22091811

Clean Up the Cooks Day on Friday resulted in a waste haul of 750.8 kilograms – the majority being general waste and scrap metal.

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 waste.

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.