Residents from Orewa to Pukekohe will gather at schools, beaches and parks this week to pick up rubbish.

More than 30 events have been organised around the Auckland region for Keep New Zealand Beautiful's annual Clean Up Week.

The charity drew attention to the alarming amount of rubbish in the city's waterways earlier this year.

Chief executive Heather Saunderson said among the six tonnes of litter the charity pulled from the water in a one-day clean up in May, were "supermarket trolleys, 300 car tyres, and the more unique, such as a statue of Buddha".


The Auckland Council's State of our Gulf 2014 report identified plastic as one of the most toxic and common pollutants in Auckland's waterways.

Saunderson said worldwide "the United Nations estimates there is 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of the ocean".

The rubbish was hazardous to aquatic animals, she said. Sea life were often suffocated by plastic bags, strangled by wire and cut by broken glass, most of which had blown into the ocean from land.

Sustainable Coastlines Auckland programmes manager Fletcher Sunde said it was important for Aucklanders to think about where their rubbish went when they failed to dispose of it properly.

"If your rubbish doesn't end up in the bin, then there's only one place it's going - that's in the ocean."