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Whangārei man collects 1200 pieces of rubbish from both sides of one road

By Danica MacLean | 21 Jun 2018 13:00

Bill Edmonds 20180625

Two shopping trolleys without wheels, 173 takeaway packages and 129 cans were among the more than 1200 pieces of rubbish one Tikipunga man picked up from the sides of one road.

Bill Edmonds collected 1227 pieces of rubbish from the drains, berm and bushes along both sides of the 1.2km Puna Rere Dr, Whangārei, last Thursday.

"It took me five and a half hours."

Edmonds was certain most of it had been thrown out of cars. He took a wool bale sack with him and dragged it along as he filled it up.

He took the rubbish back to his house and sorted all of the items into piles on his front lawn. 

His full list is: two trolleys without wheels, 68 glass bottles, 129 cans, 94 plastic drink and milk containers, 173 takeaway packages, 53 straws, 97 chip bags and 611 pieces of paper, plastic and other bits and pieces.

"I just got sick of coming along and seeing it looking like a pigsty," Edmonds said.

He said tourists, who bring money to New Zealand and Whangārei, travel along the road to go to Whangārei Falls and out to Tutukaka Coast.

"We want to show that we respect our country, it's paradise. Here we are just biffing it [rubbish] out the window. I just can't stand for this sort of stuff."

Edmonds went to the shops at the roundabout at Kiripaka and Spedding roads on Saturday and swept the footpath and picked up rubbish.

On Tuesday morning Edmonds went back along Puna Rere Dr and collected another 42 items.

"Please try and adhere to putting it into a rubbish bin please," he implored people.

He also wants to see a neighbourhood street clean project started, where streets get together and nominate one person a week to go over their street and pick up rubbish.

Edmonds thinks he will adopt the stretch of road from the shops at the roundabout out to State Highway 1 and keep an eye on it.

He was aware of Whangārei district councillor Gavin Benney picking up rubbish around Vinegar Hill Rd a couple of weeks ago. Edmonds said he would be contacting Benney to speak to him about what he found.

Whangārei District Council waste and drainage field officer Grant Alsop offered to help Edmonds dispose of the rubbish for free. Alsop urged those who throw rubbish out their car windows to "think about the environment".

He said the council has a dozen roads, including Puna Rere Dr, Ngunguru Rd and Whangārei Heads Rd, which it is scheduled to clean up twice a year, and when required in between times. It cleans up other roads when notified by the public that they are looking messy.

New Zealand Herald