The Wollongong Free Divers and Scuba Diving team spent their Wednesday morning clearing rubbish from the bottom of Wollongong Harbour to mark the launch of Clean Up Australia Day 2021.
With its official campaign date on Sunday [7 March] this nationwide event will see community groups and volunteers clear rubbish from sites across our city. On Sunday volunteers can register to help clean at 20 different sites across the city with a focus on waterways, roadsides, parks, reserve beaches and bushland areas.
Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM launched this year’s events and praised the continued efforts of local community members.
“It’s been a great morning being part of an important event. Wollongong Harbour is just one of the many well-loved and recognisable locations around our city and the efforts of our community, such as Wollongong Free Divers and Scuba Diving team, helps conserve its natural beauty,” Cr Bradbery said
“Every year we see plastic, food packaging and cigarette butts as the most common types of rubbish being collected. Unfortunately, when they aren’t disposed of correctly, they end up in our waterways endangering our marine and bird life.”
Last year volunteers across the city collected 13 tonnes of waste at various sites across the city. It is estimated that about 130,000 tonnes of plastic end up in waterways and our oceans across Australia each year.
“On Friday our younger generation will have an additional chance to get involved with 40 Wollongong schools lending a hand to make sure where they play, swim, run and have fun is rubbish free,” Cr Bradbery said
“I’d like to encourage everyone to join us, not only on Clean Up Australia Day, but every day to reduce the rubbish and waste in our environment. It’s as simple as using our public bins or recycling at home. We all can play a part in keeping Wollongong a beautiful and healthy city.”
For those who would like to get involved, Council’s website has more details on the sites across the city.
To ensure the health and safety of our volunteers, cleaning up will look a little different this year with COVID safety measures in place. There will be QR codes to sign-in on arrival and a limit of 10 volunteers per group to ensure social distancing can be maintained. COVID Marshalls will be present at any large registration points.
If you are stepping up to the challenge don’t forget to pack a pair of gloves, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, and a hat.