Mission to clean trashed beach

By Yvonne Tahana

Visitor goes home in disgust at amount of rubbish polluting popular Mission Bay.

Stephen Shaw was appalled by the rubbish littering the length of the concrete wall and floating out towards Rangitoto Island. Photo / Supplied
Stephen Shaw was appalled by the rubbish littering the length of the concrete wall and floating out towards Rangitoto Island. Photo / Supplied

Rubbish overflows from bins, although the council says they are emptied at least three times a day.

A beachgoer is disgusted with the state of one of Auckland's top beaches, after it was left with so much rubbish on the sand it resembled "a dump".

Stephen Shaw, 40, from Manukau, took his partner for a picnic to Mission Bay on Saturday evening but was so appalled by the sight of rubbish floating out to Rangitoto, litter scattered the length of the concrete wall and overflowing bins that they left after an hour.

"It was absolutely disgusting, unbelievable. We had rubbish and we took it home.

"There should be fines because from what I saw people didn't care and the only way to make them care is to make them pay. We spent a nice day at the dump," Mr Shaw said.

Yesterday, Mission Bay was full of children and their parents. There was no rubbish but locals say the hot days act as a lure for beachgoers from all over the city.

Mr Shaw's pictures reveal forgotten sports equipment, food remains, wrappings and empty beer cartons.

Emily Logan, 26, who works in a pharmacy at Mission Bay, said she had noticed problems in December.

"People can't be bothered packing up their lunch rubbish - it makes me really angry."

Other locals praised Auckland Council workers for cleaning up any rubbish quickly. Salvatore Marcellino from Tonino's Pizzeria was hosing down the footpaths outside his restaurant mid-morning. He didn't think the rubbish was any worse this year but pointed to two bins close by. Many people's rubbish failed to make it to either and instead ended up by Tonino's.

Anton Ashcroft, from Mission Bay Watersports, said drinkers were a problem, not only because the mostly young men and teenagers could be intimidating but because of the glass bottles they left behind. A liquor ban applies during daylight saving, between 10pm and 8am.

Auckland Council acting manager for parks, sport and recreation Colin Field said the council collects more rubbish in the summer months. More than 50 bins are emptied three times a day, and this increases during long weekends and sunny weather.

Loose litter is picked off the beach and a tractor-mounted rake cleans the beach at low tide fortnightly during the summer. He said if residents were concerned about rubbish they could phone the council for an immediate response.

Mayor Len Brown's office last night said a senior council officer would look into the matter urgently.

- NZ Herald

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