Waihī Beach has introduced new Community Beach Clean Pods to keep its 10km coastline clean. The initiative was launched by Sustainable Waihī Beach after they found over 112kg of rubbish during beach cleans this year.
The pods are installed at five locations: North End (2), Brighton Reserve, Tuna Avenue, and Anzac Bay. They contain 15-litre buckets for the public to use for independent beach clean-ups. After collecting litter, people can dispose of it in nearby bins and return the buckets to the pods.
Sustainable Waihī Beach Co-founder, Pippa Coombes, stated the system is simple yet effective. The launch was celebrated with local Hapū, Te Whānau a Tauwhao, performing a blessing and Year 6 students singing. Other activities included sand art and a sustainable sandcastle competition.
Since the introduction, the buckets have been frequently used, especially in the recent warm weather. The public has been sharing their litter collection experiences online.
Every three months, targeted beach cleans will take place to check the pods’ impact. This initiative is in partnership with Waihi Beach School and is funded by the Western Bay of Plenty Council.
Mayor James Denyer praised the effort, emphasising the council’s commitment to waste reduction. Visitors to Waihī Beach are encouraged to use the pods and share their experiences on social media using @sustainablewaihibeach for a chance to win prizes.