Just an hour trawling Whanganui's Grey St on Sunday afternoon netted Sustainable Whanganui volunteer Sandie Roach half a bag of rubbish.
She walked the four blocks from London to College streets in a relatively well-kept part of the city. Now she wants to encourage others to join the anti-litter crusade.
It goes national next month, with Keep New Zealand Beautiful clean up week from September 12-18.
Mrs Roach has successfully gotten Whanganui District Council to clear litter, using the 'Fix It' form at www.whanganui.govt.nz/our-services/do-it-online/request-for-services.
And she said there was a lot of information online about ways to avoid rubbishing rivers and the sea, at www.mfe.govt.nz/marine/marine-pages-kids/how-you-can-reduce-marine-pollution and www.maritimenz.govt.nz/public/schools/documents.
Sorting what she picked up in urban Grey St, she found the biggest pile was takeaway food and drink remains, much of it from McDonald's and KFC. There were also a lot of takeaway coffee cups.
Another pile was alcoholic drink containers - mostly beer and ready-to-drink spirit mixtures.
Then there were a lot of containers from non-alcoholic drinks, and a miscellaneous collection including chocolate wrappers.
Smoking refuse was a mere cigarette packet and eight butts. Organic refuse consisted of one orange peel.
When Mrs Roach analysed the litter, she found about half of it was recyclable. None of it should have been lying on the roadside.
Next month others can follow her lead during Keep New Zealand Beautiful's annual clean-up week. Groups can register with knzb.org.nz for help to clear up litter in an area of their choice. Keep New Zealand Beautiful provides bags, gloves and advice, and lesson plans for participating primary schools.
Whanganui people can also get clean-up help and information at Sustainable Whanganui's open day at the Whanganui Environment Base in Maria Pl on September 10, from 10am to 3pm.
Whanganui District Council will pay to dispose of the litter registered groups collect.
Last year 43,000 volunteers from 100 New Zealand places took part in the clean-up.