Clean Up Australia Day last weekend saw at least nine Lower Clarence groups register. The day encourages people across the nation to tackle the rubbish hotspots in their area for one day a year.
Wooloweyah Landcare Group, took on Angourie Rd and Greenpoint and collected 11 bags or rubbish.
Organiser Carolyn Eddy said the group has been contributing to the clean-up for the past five years. She said “Whilst members of the group clean up areas throughout the year Angourie Rd is not one of their working sites. It is surprising once you get your eye in how much rubbish is tucked away on the roadside”.
Twelve year old Sam who participated said “he was NOT happy about picking up other people’s rubbish” but he did enjoy the walk and the close up look into the beautiful wetland forests on Angourie Rd.
Clean-ups all around Australia by communities are very important. If someone doesn’t pick it up it will eventually make its way into our rivers and oceans.
Most of the rubbish they found was take-away packaging from the fast-food outlet. Empty bottles and cans, single use plastic bags, “L” & “P” plate signs, and things that blew out of the back of work trucks.
The job was made harder as council lawn mowing just runs over everything hurling it into smaller fragments.
The group encouraged people to take more care and responsibility and think about the world we live in. We only have one earth and one life to make a difference. The amount of trash in the ocean is a very sad reflection of the human neglect of our planet.
Valley Watch president Ros Woodward believes there should be cost associated with rubbish. Companies that sell take away drinks and food containers need spend more on education and awareness, especially in schools. Learning the importance of recycling when you are young and getting that “Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mentality is very important. Kids are our future, they have a big loud voice and can force change but they need to know the impacts and have support within the community and governments.
She said plastic bags should not be free. Shop-owners and their employees need to step up and discourage use.
“Education is everything – Awareness creates change – Action Speaks Louder than words”.
Eatonsville-based anti-plastic crusader Bryan McGrath, who has taken on administration of the Highway Hippies Facebook page, said he was working on a number of initiatives to help reduce the amount of rubbish in the community including a school education package.
“Even though (Clean Up Australia Day) is a great idea, it is really only a drop in the ocean as far as pollution and litter issues go in our valley,” he said.
“What I am attempting to do… now is organise a local group clean up every four to six weeks throughout the year.
“It would not only raise awareness, but take care of everything in a shorter amount of time. There’s a long way from top of the valley to the beaches.”
Mr McGrath also said some better legislation was needed to catch people littering, especially on roadways.
“I’ve had people see me pick up rubbish and drop something 20 metres away,” he said.