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Waiheke summer waste barge service closing soon

Year-round tips on how to be a waste-wise boatie

Published: 22 January 2020

Auckland Council is reminding leisure boat users that the summer waste barge service moored at Man O’ War Bay, Waiheke Island, will close on Friday, 7 February 2020, after Waitangi Day.

Until then, the service will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including public holidays, to help boaties dispose of their household waste and recyclables and keep Auckland's Waitematā Harbour beautiful.

“If people are visiting Waiheke for the day, we ask them to pack in and pack out, take their waste home and dispose of it responsibly in their rubbish or recycling bins,” says Cath Handley, Waiheke Local Board Chair.

“For those spending time on the water around Waiheke over the upcoming long weekend and up to 7 February, the summer waste barge service is there to support boaties to manage their waste well and keep our marine environment free of litter and pollution.”

The barge is set up with 240-litre wheelie bins designated for either general household waste or recyclables. The bins are clean, watertight, and effectively contain all refuse and recycling, as well as any odours that may occur in the heat of summer. The barge bulwarks help contain any waste that may escape from the wheelie bins.

Boaties can tie up to the barge or row out and safely secure their vessels alongside the refuse barge.  No commercial waste, inorganic/bulky items, or hazardous waste will be accepted.

How to use the summer waste barge

  • Pre-sort your waste into rubbish and recyclable materials before you arrive at the barge
  • Place all items in the appropriate marked wheelie bins – general waste or recycling
  • Wheelie bins for recyclable materials have a green body and yellow lid
  • Please do not leave rubbish bags or loose items on the deck of the barge
  • Ensure all rubbish bags are placed in the general waste bins
  • Recycle as much as you can: glass bottles and jars, aluminium cans/empty aerosols, steel and tin cans, plastics labelled 1-7, paper and cardboard, and liquid paperboard cartons (milk and juice)
  • Remember to rinse all recyclable containers and leave the lids on all bottles and containers. Containers should be no larger than 4 litres
  • A good rule of thumb to follow is that you can recycle most packaging containers from your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry.

Being waste-wise on the water

Parul Sood, General Manager Waste Solutions at Auckland Council says that once the summer waste barge service closes, there are still lots of things that boaties can do to be waste-wise while out in the Gulf.  Here are the council’s top tips:

  1. Avoid single-use bottled water -- fill up and bring reusable water bottles on your trip
  2. Keep a covered rubbish bin on board. Make sure all your litter, particularly plastics, makes it into the bin. This includes cigarette butts and fishing line. Dispose of your rubbish responsibly once you are back on land
  3. Use a separate covered bin and recycle as much as you can of glass bottles and jars, aluminium cans/empty aerosols, steel and tin cans, plastic containers labelled 1-7, paper and cardboard, and liquid paperboard cartons (e.g. used for milk and juice). Put these items in your kerbside recycling bin once onshore again – remember to empty and rinse containers first
  4. Remove any unnecessary packaging before you leave home and head out to sea. Re-pack snacks such as potato chips, nuts, or dried fruits into reusable containers and leave the soft plastic packaging behind.  Avoid plastic wrap by wrapping your sandwiches in reusable beeswax wraps or storing them in reusable containers
  5. If you see rubbish floating by, scoop it out of the sea, even if it's not yours. It’s just one of the things you can do to Be A Tidy Kiwi
  6. Fish heads and frames have a lot of food on them. If you don't want them, give them to someone who does! Head to Free Fish heads NZ to find out more
  7. Fish with reusable lures and hooks. Try to avoid using homemade, single-use lures, made with soft plastics
  8. Save your shellfish or fish scraps to make your own berley, rather than buying berley in a plastic bag.

Clean Below?  Good to go

Auckland Council is also encouraging boaties to ensure their boats have clean hulls before visiting the islands in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.  If boat owners clean their hulls while moored around the islands, there is the potential to dislodge and spread both contaminants, such as heavy metals, and marine pests.  These pose major risks to the Gulf's pristine marine environment.  

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