Tonnes of rubbish removed from waterways

Photo: Supplied / Tanya Jenkins
Photo: Supplied / Tanya Jenkins
By Anna Sargent 

Dumped TVs, microwaves and cushions were just some of the items removed from Christchurch's waterways by about 1000 volunteers over the weekend.

More than 600 bags of rubbish - amounting to several tonnes - was removed from the riverbanks as part of the annual Mother of All Clean Ups, held each year on the eve of Mother's Day.

One of the key organisers, Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust​ manager Tanya Jenkins, said the litter picked up was varied, but people found masses of plastic bottles and dog poo.

She said it was disappointing to see little improvement in the waterways after a decade of running the event.

"We are still finding so much rubbish along the roads and along the waterways which is quite sad.

"We were always hoping when we started 10 years ago that we may make ourselves obsolete.

"That was a bit too optimistic I think - there will always be people who litter, and we still have a lot to educate.

"We, unfortunately, see a lot of evidence of people dumping large items [in the rivers] because they are not willing to or can't afford to dump it, such as microwaves and TVs."

Photo: Supplied / Tanya Jenkins
Photo: Supplied / Tanya Jenkins
Jenkins said the Mother of All Clean Ups was also an awareness campaign.

"A lot of people don't realise how much rubbish is in the rivers when you drive or walk past, you don't always see it."

Jenkins said more than 60 community groups took part in the clean up, including school groups and businesses.

Organisers were incredibly grateful to everyone who showed up.

"A lot of businesses and groups come back each year because they feel they're doing something positive.

"More businesses joined this year- doing it as a staff event- which is really fabulous to see."