In response to the problem of illegal dumping in some residential streets in Ōtara, the Ōtara Waterways and Lake Trust devised the Neat Street programme as a way of engaging a whole street or neighbourhood to be proactive against illegal dumping, by increasing the pride within the community and providing a means for households to dispose responsibly of their unwanted household items. 

Research has found that if an area is kept free of litter and there is a sense of pride by the community in that place, then incidences of littering and illegal dumping decrease.

The Neat Streets event day is delivered to ensure all opportunities to upskill residents in how to sort their waste, reduce their weekly household waste and where to take unwanted but reusable items, is provided. Information stalls, workshops and pre/post event engagement activations are organised with a team of volunteers available on the event day to help residents sort their waste themselves into the correct skips.

The Neat Streets programme was launched on Saturday 10 June 2017 with a ‘Gift It, Sort it and Repair it’ day for 160 homes in the area of Antrim Crescent, Ōtara. Since then the Trust has hosted three further Neat Streets events, with more planned for the future.

Thanks to the Ōtara Papatoetoe Local Board for their support of the Neat Streets initiative.