Some Ōtara residents made a big difference to help keep their community and waterways clean at the Velvet Crescent Neat Streets event on 8 December.

Neat Streets is an initiative of the Ōtara Waterways and Lake Trust, funded by Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board with support from many organisations and community groups. The event is designed to help residents sort and dispose of their unwanted household waste, to minimise illegal dumping, and to protect the local waterways. 

Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board Chair Lotu Fuli says, “We often don’t stop to think about what happens to our rubbish once it goes in the bin. It’s important to sort your unwanted items correctly to stop valuable materials from being sent to landfill, and then to dispose of the remaining waste responsibly.”

“We are thrilled to support programmes like this, as illegal dumping can have a serious impact on local communities if people are repeatedly offending in a particular area. As well as having a negative effect on the natural environment, it can pose a significant health and safety hazard to families, especially children.

“Events like this are a great way to help people think about what they do with their waste. It’s also a chance to remind everyone to keep an eye out for illegally dumped waste and, when they see it, to make sure they call Auckland Council on 0800 NO DUMP so we can all enjoy our neighbourhoods to the full.”

Zero-waste gardening workshops and a bike-repair tent were also hosted at the event by neighbours, to encourage people to think about what they can do to reuse, repurpose, repair, or recycle items before deciding to send them to landfill.

Aucklanders caring for their streets, homes, and waterways (1)

Sully Paea lives in the area and is known for teaching kids how to repair bikes and other items.

More than 27 tonnes of material was cleared out from 54 homes by a team of 40 volunteers.

“We all can make a difference by managing our waste correctly all year long,” says Lotu, “and by making a call to council if we see things dumped in our parks, on our beaches, along waterways, or in other public places.”

Auckland Council’s Illegal Dumping Hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you see waste dumped on council land, you can call free on 0800 NO DUMP to report it. In instances where rubbish is dumped on council land, it is removed by Auckland Council.

Neat Streets is just one programme helping Aucklanders to get rid of their unwanted items, along with many other options available across the city. Check out the Auckland Council website for more about what to do with unwanted items.