BOI students clean up Kawakawa September 2019


Teacher Richard Higgins and students from Room 9R make their way up Commercial St in Kawakawa. Photo / Peter de Graaf

A week-long rubbish blitz by students from Bay of Islands College has cleaned up almost every street in Kawakawa.

Every day, as part of Keep New Zealand Beautiful Week, students have donned gloves and high-vis vests and hit a different part of town in search of trash.

On Thursday they cleaned up Hospital Hill; on Friday it was the turn of Room 9R, who targeted Commercial, Church and Albert Streets.

Alexus Kelly, 13, from Moerewa, said it felt good to be helping the Earth and her community.

''We're making the town cleaner, healthier and safer,'' she said.

Classmate Unique Marsters, also 13, said they picked up a lot of bottles, lolly wrappers, plastic, and even a dead cat.

Richard Higgins, who teaches English and environmental sustainability management, came up with the idea to clean up the entire town.

Every day teachers picked a time and a different section of town, with the PE class, for example, combining a run with a clean-up along the cycle trail.

The initiative had been warmly received by townsfolk with drivers tooting or stopping to say thanks and hundreds engaging via social media.

''It's a great opportunity for the kids to get involved in something. We're walking the talk. Instead of hoping someone else will do it, we're rolling up our sleeves and doing it ourselves.''

Higgins estimated students had collected 30 sacks of rubbish during the five days.

He said rubbish problems, such as the great garbage patch in the middle of the Pacific, could seem overwhelming and impossible to solve but it was possible to make a difference by tackling the problem in ''bite-size pieces''.

(see more images Here )

Story by Peter de Graaf, The Northern Advocate, 14 Sept 2019