Volunteers remove 1000kg of rubbish from river near Wānaka

by Lauren Pattemore - Jun 26, 2024

More than 50 volunteers rocked up to a neglected section of the Cardrona River at the weekend to clear its rubbish. 

Within two hours more than 1000 kilograms of waste was collected from this spot by the river, located below the bridge off Ballantyne Road in Wānaka.

The rubbish was then audited, and recycled or taken to landfill.

In a statement Wai Wānaka, which organised the event in partnership with Love Wānaka and Wastebusters, says this area of the river needed "some love" as it had become a hotspot for rubbish dumping and pest plants. 

Bottles, plastic and other junk all collected from the riverside this weekend (Supplied: Wai Wānaka)

Wai Wānaka's Jaylene Harper says they were thrilled with the turnout and determination of volunteers at the event.

"Our clean-ups are a great way to connect, get outside, and take action...it’s clear our community values our local waterways and keeping our environment free of rubbish."

Volunteers included families to retirees to businesses - many of whom make use of the waterway and had noticed it was needing some attention.

And there's more clean up events scheduled over the next six months focusing on different sections of the river, with the next one set for July 17 at the Outlet. 

Some of 50 volunteers who donated their time to restore the riverside (Supplied: Wai Wānaka).

The event was sponsored by local businesses Wānaka Civil and Interlink Ltd, who brought their work trailers to the event to collect the big stuff, taking everything to landfill that couldn’t be recycled.

"Each clean-up includes a litter audit, where rubbish is sorted and recorded into the national Litter Intelligence programme,” Ms Harper says.

Main image (Supplied/Wai Wānaka): Volunteers collecting riverside rubbish at near Wānaka.

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