Update 7: Fox River clean-up

UPDATE 7: 10 April


Great progress is being made by volunteers and specialist teams cleaning up rubbish, washed up from a disused landfill that is now in the Fox River.

Volunteers have concentrated on clearing rubbish from readily accessible parts of rivers and beaches, while specialist teams focus on harder-to-reach sites, including areas considered too difficult or dangerous for volunteers.

On 9 April, volunteer teams were taken by helicopter to clean up the Karangarua River mouth, Cook River mouth, Gillespies Beach, Five Mile Beach, Three Mile Beach and North Spit Okarito. Most of the rubbish removed has been plastic bags, plastic bottles and glass bottles. Specialist teams will deploy to Five Mile Beach to continue waste removal on Thursday.

Landowners are supporting the clean-up initiative by enabling access through their properties to river and beach sites.

Specialist teams are undertaking river flat clearing because this may require the use of chainsaws to cut into driftwood piles before any rubbish is removed. Endangered native broom at sites will be identified and protected while the clean-up continues.

Drones are being used to identify and guide response teams into debris locations.

People who wish to be considered for the clean-up must contact foxlandfillresponse@westlanddc.govt.nz  with dates they are available and any relevant specialist skills they have. Volunteers will need to bring adequate food and suitable clothing and footwear, as well as sunscreen and insect repellent.

Updates are available on the South Westland Coastal Clean-up Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/southwestlandcoastalcleanup/