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Volunteers mount big cleanup

Last updated 05:00 08/01/2014

TRASH REMOVED: Members from the Light & Love Home New Zealand church pull a trolley out of the Pakuranga Stream.

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Volunteers have removed 3456 kilograms of rubbish from waterways and shorelines across Manukau.

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand have spent the last eight months picking up trash from places like the Pakuranga Stream to stop it from finding its way into waterways and out to sea.

"The cleanups have been a great success and also a real eye-opener of the sheer amount of rubbish in our environment," North Island manager Fiona McLaughlin says.

"For our volunteers it's been a labour of love with people from all walks of life coming together to help out - individuals, school children, community and church groups, families and business groups."

Across Manukau 359 people picked up 3456kg of trash, including 80kg of plastic bottles, 77kg of aluminium cans, 328kg of glass bottles and 2948kg of general waste.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful general manager Heather Saunderson says the cleanups have raised awareness of the devastating effects of rubbish.

"As plastic breaks down, the fragments become a death trap to wildlife. Two hundred and sixty marine species are known to become entangled or eat floating plastic rubbish, which means hundreds of thousands of deaths every year," she says.

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- Eastern Courier

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