Snagged: Friends of the Yarrowee’s Col Palmer said most rubbish in the wetlands and creek is plastic packaging. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Picking up rubbish and responsibility

February 24, 2020 BY

PEOPLE are striving to keep Ballarat beautiful, as Clean Up Australia Day approaches on 1 March.

That Sunday, groups will be based at the Yarrowee River by the Redan Wetlands, and Lucas, to free the natural and suburban environments of litter.

Friends of the Yarrowee’s Col Palmer used to walk his dogs by the creek. He said it’s a popular spot for walkers, but it’s heavily polluted.

“It’s not maintained so litter doesn’t get collected here anymore as it should. There’s no shortage of litter,” he said.

“Each Clean Up Australia Day, we clean it up beautifully and next year we get another half a skip full. Plastic is just everywhere. It finishes up in the creek because that’s where all the drainage goes.

“Every plastic straw, every coffee cup, every vinyl gym bag, whatever… they’re down here. It’s terrible.”

This year Mr Palmer is hoping for plenty of volunteers to meet at the wetlands at 10am to break off into teams of five or 10, move towards the south and collect as much rubbish as they can.

“They won’t be coming down wasting their time. Let’s just do our little bit,” he said.

“This plastic in the creek will finish up in the ocean. This is Ballarat’s problem, it’s created here, so let’s have Ballarat people take responsibility for it and educate everybody.”

John Van Styn is part of the Lucas Community Representative Group and the leader of Clean Up Lucas. The amount of litter in the new area’s creeks and waterways is a concern for him.

“There’s a huge amount of rubbish being blown from worksites there and rubbish left next to big bins,” he said.

“We’re working in conjunction with Sunday Sweep and have been in contact with the two schools. The idea of our group is to bring community together.”

Search for a Clean Up Australia Day event near you at cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/join-a-clean-up.

Yarrowee sweepers can meet at the walking path adjacent to the Leith Street bridge. Lucas helpers are to gather at the Community Hub Car Park on Eleanor Drive at 9am to sweep until 11am.