National Environment Service director Halatoa Fua, right, with Prime Minister Mark Brown. 21111712
Cook Islands residents are being urged to join the annual Clean Up The Cooks event on Friday, September 16.
National Environment Service staff are leading this
activity for volunteers by allocating places to collect waste, providing bags,
picking them up, and sorting the waste for recycling.
In a statement, National Environment Service director
Halatoa Fua said the clean up event has been running for more than 20 years in
the Cooks Islands with lots of people taking part.
“It’s a great opportunity for families, businesses,
schools, government departments and visitors to pitch in and clean up our piece
of paradise,” Fua said.
“In a typical year, our community has collected about six
tonnes of waste from around Rarotonga and Pa Enua. This is waste we have
removed from the lagoons, beaches, streams and bush areas.
“To take part in the clean up, just register via the
National Environment Service website and we will get you started.”
The clean up theme for the year is “This Is The Only
Home We Have”.
Fua says our waste mountain in the Cook Islands is
steadily growing and is now a major concern for the community.
“This is not the kind of mountain we want to have in
our backyard. To help combat the growing waste problem, we can start by all
following the Five Rs for waste management – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Re-purpose and
Recycle. Doing this is one of the best ways to ensure our islands are a
beautiful place to live, work and visit.”
The Cook Islands event is part of a global World
Cleanup Day comprising 191 countries. In the past the event had 60 million
volunteers and 303,000 kg of waste collected.