Today I went out on the Watercare Harbour Clean-Up Trust boat. We set off at a leisurely pace from downtown auckland in a rugged little boat (they are getting a new one next month) and headed under the Harbour Bridge out to the entrance to the Whau river. We kayaked over to Pollen Island and in just a few hours filled 9 bags with plastic before heading back. Amongst the expected bottles, bags and wrappers we also found:
One of those really old coke bottles with the removable black base
Lots of balls and kids toys
x4 Syringes (Needles)
x2 LPG Canisters
These guys have been doing this for 10 years and made a huge difference to the health of the Harbour. There is still a lot of historical waste to remove but we desperately need better source control. Interestingly they would prefer plastic to break down slower so it is easier to collect and remove. I left a lot of toxic little bits in the sand and rushes. I am looking forward to heading out again with Skipper Ben and hopefully the organiser Hayden Smith who are both awesome guys.
While I was watering the dying trees on Omaru Creek (please rain soon) I noticed people were putting out their trash for the local in-organic rubbish collection. So I hauled a bunch of stuff out of the water. Some of it was so rusted it must have been in there for years. The pile was bigger but some of the stuff I found in the bush (bike parts) got picked up by some collectors (sweet!).
UPDATE: Inspired by the recyclers my son and I just pulled out about 60kgs of rusting steel from below the high tide line. I would have photographed my pile of fencing mesh, corrugated iron and shopping trollies but they picked it up so fast!
I decided not to wait for the council to get these out. It looks like a scrap dealer threw them over the cliff at Wai O Taiki Nature Reserve years ago and they have been leaking poison into the estuary ever since.
How I found them, tho most of them were covered in the mud (yes that is a dead dog).
In the other trash at the bottom of the cliff someone left me an old tent which I was able to use as a tarp to keep my car clean.
They did not want them at the local e-waste collection day but they said I could take them down to upcycle.co.nz during the week, this is all of them on a trailer.
Upcycle were so awesome! They were happy to recycle the TVs for me even tho they would normally charge someone $250 for this much waste. And thats if the TVs are in good condition with valuable parts (these have been stripped). They were just as happy as me to see them out of our estuary, what heroes!