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The beach cleanup was the brainchild of Amelia Jory, a former Dunedin resident who now lives in Auckland.
Having returned south to visit family for the festive season, Miss Jory was shocked by the amount of rubbish she saw strewn along the beach and road when going for a run one night.
"At first I kind of thought a rubbish truck had come and dumped rubbish here there was that much.
"I ran into one of the local fish and chip shops just down here and asked him for a plastic bag and within 15 minutes a full black bag was filled."
That proved the impetus to organise Saturday’s community cleanup.
About 30 people answered the call to meet at the Ocean View Recreational Reserve and get cleaning.
Local businesses came to the party, putting on catering to feed the hungry volunteers, and providing vouchers for spot prizes.
Rob van Kasteren, of Dunedin, was one of the volunteers enthusiastically seeking out trash along the beach.
A keen surfer, he normally frequents St Clair and St Kilda beaches, but said the working bee was a good opportunity to see another part of the local coastline while also doing some work for the community.
He was nearly put off taking part by some rough weather earlier in the day, but remembered some advice from a beloved grandfather who used to walk 20km a day in all conditions.
"He always said ‘the weather doesn’t look at me, so I don’t look at the weather’, so today I thought whatever weather it’s going to be I’m going to pick up some plastic."
The cleanup effort was a big success as the volunteers picked up 10 full sacks of litter, Miss Jory said.
The haul exceeded her expectations and included hubcaps and carpet offcuts among the larger pieces of detritus collected.