Operation Tidy Fox needs your help

Pictured: About 5,500 tonnes of rubbish polluted 75kms of riverbed and coastline after the Fox Glacier landfill erosion last March. Picture by DOC.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is calling for volunteers to help clean up 75kms of West Coast riverbed and coastline polluted by the Fox Glacier landfill erosion.

The area has been covered with 5,500 tonnes of rubbish after last March’s torrential rainfall and flooding washed out a closed landfill near Fox Glacier; most of the waste is reportedly soft plastics. 

Under the banner of ‘Operation Tidy Fox’, DOC is seeking volunteers to help remove rubbish from the riverbed to prevent it from moving onto beaches and into the ocean. 

Volunteers are required to possess a moderate to high level of fitness and be able to sustain work for up to six hours a day for two or more days in a row. Volunteers will also need to organise their transport to and from Fox Glacier’s DOC office, personal items, breakfast foods and snack foods. DOC will provide the majority of the rest, including accommodation in a shared hostel space, lunches and dinners.

The DOC replaced Westland District Council to take over Operation Tidy Fox efforts after the council was forced to abandon their clean up at the end of May due to no further resources or capacity to do further work.

Ten weeks on from the incident, it was estimated that less than one percent of the waste had been collected and less than five percent of the Fox riverbed had been cleaned up.

Those interested in volunteering can view information or register their interest on DOC’s website or email operationtidyfox@doc.govt.nz.


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