Annual Earth Day lakefront litter pick up a big success
Zip ties, syringes, plastic of all sizes and even a toilet seat were what greeted the team of environmental warriors who joined Taupō District Council staff at the Taupō lakefront last Sunday April 23.
The last-minute change of date from Saturday to Sunday due to wet weather didn’t deter the group of around 120 volunteers who turned up to celebrate Earth Day 2023 at the council-organised litter pick up.
Taupō District Council waste minimisation officer Shannon Hanson said she was absolutely delighted with the turnout.
“It was an amazing morning. I was a little shocked at the turnout actually – it was awesome to see so many smiling faces ready and willing to help.
Volunteers collected buckets of sand from the lake shore and sifted through it to find microplastics hidden in the sand.
“These little bits of plastic can be so damaging to our lake’s ecosystem.
“People don’t realise that what they are throwing out on the street can end up in the lake, and it’s just heartbreaking to see,” says Shannon.
Volunteer divers were also out in the water scouring the lakebed. Unfortunately, they found all sorts of litter, including syringes with needles.
Some common finds throughout the morning were zip ties, bottle caps, bottles, cans, junk food wrappers and takeaway packaging.
Over a dozen sacks of litter were collected from the area, as well as a car tyre and even a toilet seat.
“A heartfelt thank you to everyone that donated their time to assist with the event.
“I think we should all be proud of the difference that we made for our local environment,” says Shannon.
“A huge thanks to the support we received from Kids Greening Taupō, Huka Honey Hive, Waikato Enviroschools, Taupō EEC and Miraka Limited and our event sponsor Huka Falls River Cruise, who kindly supported us with a giveaway.
“We were also lucky to have a bunch of $10 spot prizes donated on the day by The Cave at The Landing.”