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Youngsters take Tidy Kiwi pledge

192kg clean-up staggers children

Published: 20 March 2019

Many children head off to school hoping one day they might be nurses or prime ministers, but the kids from primary schools in Mauku and View Road in Waiuku have been putting their skills to the test as volunteer rubbish collectors.

The youngsters took to the streets around the Waiuku school armed with gloves and “litter picker-uppers" as part of a Tread Lightly environmental project, in partnership with the Be A Tidy Kiwi scheme.

The 130 youngsters returned with 192.9 kilos of rubbish.

An impressive effort, but totally unimpressive that the litter was lying around in the first place.

In the 49 bags of rubbish was 60kgs of glass bottles, 8.5kgs of cans, 8.2kgs of soft plastic, 11.5 kgs of plastic bottles, 16 kgs of clothing, more than 88kgs of 'other', and assorted items like a discarded scooter, a high chair, ceramics and bed ends.

Be A Tidy Kiwi ambassador Richard Leckinger told the kids their efforts were confined to a small area around the school.

“Imagine what would have happened if every school had been out collecting.”

But that was almost 200 kilograms of rubbish that would not find its way into waterways, endangering fish, dolphins and turtles, he said.

“You can be very proud of what you have achieved.”

Among the litter collected were four ‘golden tickets’, with the finders swapping them for a Be A Tidy Kiwi T-shirt. Falcon Kakano and Mav Hughes were among the winners.

“I’m always going to be a tidy Kiwi,” Mav says.

The children later joined members of the Franklin Local Board, which provided funding for the initiative, in taking the Tidy Kiwi pledge, promising to always put litter in its correct place.