One of Australia’s largest environmental events is just around the corner and Lake Macquarie City Council is encouraging residents and community groups to register a Clean Up Australia Day site for Sunday March 6.
Last year’s mammoth effort saw more than 5600 volunteers collect 16 tonnes of rubbish across 83 sites, a record for the city.
Warners Bay Sustainable Neighbourhood Group leader Dennis Archibald has been volunteering and hosting sites for more than 20 years and says areas in and around Cockle Creek are among those targeted during clean-up events.
“In 2020 we found three tonnes of rubbish there which included tyres, chairs and rubbish bins, but one of the most awful things we find is styrofoam. It’s horrendous to see and it’s harmful to the native wildlife,” Mr Archibald said.
“A lot of the rubbish washed down the creek is then getting caught by the mangroves and that’s particularly disappointing.” Redhead Beach and Wangi Wangi are among the other focus areas during Clean Up Australia Day.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser urged locals to get involved, either by volunteering individually, or forming a group and registering a clean-up site. “We’re hoping to get a wide spread of sites right across the city,” Cr Fraser said.
“Given the current climate, we’re expecting there’ll be a lot of single-use plastic items lying about. Things like face-masks, coffee cups and COVID testing kits.”
“If we all do our part, then together we can make a big difference. I’m encouraging everyone to adopt good recycling habits and get rid of rubbish the right way so we can keep our beautiful landscape clean, year-round.”
To take part in the hands-on experience, locals can opt to host a site at cleanup.org.au/register.