Council doesn’t want to need Clean Up Australia Day
  • Thursday 24 February 2011

Sunshine Coast Council is once again supporting Clean Up Australia Day, 6 March, but would prefer the day never needed to happen.

In 2010, council together with the community retrieved over 1000 bags of rubbish and rescued over 210 bags of recycling from bushland and waterways around the Coast for Clean Up Australia Day.

This together with a supreme combined effort throughout the year, resulted in the Sunshine Coast Council winning the Local Government Award 2010, which is a feather in the cap for everyone involved.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Keryn Jones said that it’s a testament to the amazing people we have here on the Coast, that so many community groups, individuals, council staff and businesses get involved each year.

"I’m hoping that we get more people involved again this year, litter has such a devastating effect on our wildlife – you only need to look at the pictures to see the devastating effects," Cr Jones said.

"But while I give 100% support to Clean Up Australia Day, I can’t help thinking how much effort goes on fixing a problem that doesn’t need to be there in the first place.

"A fundamental message in all our waste education is that every individual is responsible for the waste they generate – it’s only when we all embrace this message that we can achieve real results.

"Our part in that is to support waste reduction through education programs and provide avenues for reuse and recycling such as recycle markets and workshops.

"Through the Waste Minimisation Strategy we are trying to implement a number of initiatives that will stop illegal dumping and encourage people to adopt good waste behaviours.

"We already offer free recycling for things like metal, clothing and paint, green waste and mattress recycling is subsidised and people can recycle their unwanted items for free at tip shops, but there’s always more we can do.

"Currently we’re working with businesses to ensure they know that they are entitled to bulk recycling bins through their waste charge. There are so many businesses paying to dispose of recyclable items because they are unaware of this inclusion.

"Council’s Waste2Resource schools program is a real win-win. By targeting the next generation and teaching them how to reduce, reuse, recycle, the kids learn great waste behaviour, but also go on to teach their parents and families.

"So my message is for Coast residents to please join us on 6 March, get involved and help keep our region beautiful, but to also encourage everyone to make every day a litter free day.

There are sites registered across the Coast and volunteers are more than welcome. To join a clean up site or to register a new location, head to the Clean Up Australia Day website, or call 1800 CUA DAY (1800 282 329).

Emma Quirk from Underwater World said they are organising a clean up at the northern end of Kawana Beach.

"It’s always distressing to see what rubbish does to our marine life, plastic bags in particular are a big enemy of turtles who often confuse them for jellyfish," Ms Quirk said.

"Ingesting plastic and other debris can cause turtles to develop floating syndrome – this is where they rise to the top of the water and can’t get down to feed.

"Anything we can do on Clean Up Australia Day to remove bags, debris and general rubbish will help our marine life."

Sunshine Coast Council supports Clean Up Australia Day and provides funding, extra gloves, bags and safety equipment as well as coordinating the collection of both waste and recyclables across the region.

Clean up Australia Day is Australia’s largest community based environmental event. Last year nearly 600,000 people volunteered to clean up their local parks, waterways, beaches, bushland and suburbs. They removed an amazing 15,560 tonnes of rubbish.