Tauranga City Council’s Stream & Estuary Clean-up Programme has evolved over time from one or two ad hoc clean-ups per year involving a few dozen participants to a Downer sponsored inter-council programme that in 2016 involved over 1500 students from 17 schools taking part in 10 events. The 2016 events removed almost 4000kgs of rubbish that would have otherwise ended up polluting our waterways and harbour.
The programme has been developed as a means of achieving compliance with Tauranga City Councils comprehensive stormwater consents, and as a result of the desire by community to be more active in protecting and enhancing their local environment.
An assessment of Stormwater Reserve and Harbour margin rubbish accumulation was conducted in 2014 and this provided guidance on areas for future clean-up events. Downer NZ indicated their enthusiasm to support the events and this led to their providing valuable sponsorship allowing the programme to grow.
The Clean-up Programme delivers:
- A reduction in litter and fly tipping pollution within TCC’s Stormwater Reserves
- A way of educating the community on their impact on stormwater reserves, waterways and harbour.
- Compliance with TCC’s citywide comprehensive stormwater consent educational requirements
- Involvement for TCC’s city partners in a programme that benefits the community
The programme encourages students to involve the whole family in their learning, and has proven popular with students, teachers, principals and parents. The events focus on giving students a chance to learn about and connect with their local environment while empowering them to make a difference in their community in the future.