Rubbish dumping in Rarotonga's public areas is reported to be getting worse with over a tonne of waste recently collected in a two-day clean up.
A waste management coordinator for Infrastructure Cook Islands, Hilary Boyes, said the event highlighted the extent of illegal dumping and the amount of waste in and around the ocean.
A group of volunteers, including divers, collected waste from Avarua Harbour, along the seawall, beaches between Muri and Vaimaanga and the Panama Swamp, Ms Boyes said.
"And we got 33 volunteers which was awesome. And a mountain of waste, literally a tonne, I think 1053kg of waste, picked up," she said.
"A lot of that was tyres, we got, I can't remember, about thirty tyres. And then other big appliances and batteries and just all the plastic bags, bottles and everything you can imagine."
Ms Boyes, who's on assignment with Volunteer Service Abroad, said the huge amount of waste collected was a shocking reminder to people to take more care of the environment and use the Cook Islands free rubbish collection system.