Backyard Battle

Litter starts out as something that we’ve created and used.  If inappropriately disposed of, these products become litter which pollutes not only our land, but also our waterways and seas. Our Backyard Battle citizen science programme gets students, teachers, volunteers and other citizen scientists out collecting litter at key inland sites, such as public recreational spaces, highways and railways, car parks, residential, retail and industrial sites to help create a better understanding of litter’s pathway across our land.

Litter causes harm to the environment we live in, the water we drink and the ecosystems that we’re apart of. It’s not just our activities out at sea or on our rivers and lakes that cause water pollution; a vast majority of litter found in our oceans and waterways comes from land-based activities, being washed or blown into the water by rivers, sewage, storm water or winds. This means that the litter we see inland poses an extreme risk to life both on land and in the water!

Through our Backyard Battle programme we hope to get a better picture of what’s going on. That’s where you come in!

Our Backyard Battle programme is aimed at schools, community groups and volunteers throughout New Zealand who would like to contribute to the solution.

By registering for a Backyard Battle you’ll receive:

  • Engagement in real-world data collection and meaningful action towards Keeping New Zealand Beautiful
  • Participation, training and experience as a citizen scientist
  • A comprehensive resource pack including:
    • Backyard Battle Event Guide – with guidance on how to complete your litter survey and tips on how to make your event a success.
    • Backyard Battle Survey Sheet
    • Backyard Battle Step-by-Step Guide
    • Equipment Checklist
    • Risk assessment and emergency procedure protocols
    • Health and safety information
    • Digital certificate
    • Clean up resources (gloves and bags) on request
  • Access to Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s support team
  • Updates on other community led and education programmes
  • A great day out with your school, community, whānau and friends, doing your bit for kaitiatikanga o Aotearoa

For schools, we also offer:

  • Inquiry-based learning linked to a diverse range of learning areas of Aotearoa’s curriculum
  • New Zealand Curriculum links
  • Risk Assessment Management Sheet (RAMS)
  • A simplified Backstream Battle Survey Sheet (suitable for primary school aged children or younger)

The data collected from Backyard Battle and its sister programme, Upstream Battle, which focuses on litter within 10m of a waterway, will provide a secondary dataset to our National Litter Audit. Together the data will feed into a shared database that will help to inform local and national legislation, our community led programming and behaviour change campaigns.

If you’d like to participate in our Backyard Battle programme please complete the form below. By registering you’ll receive a confirmation email with links to download resources, and to upload your photos and survey findings.

If at any stage of the planning or during the event you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email or call 0800 TIDY KIWI for help.