Walking to fight the war on waste

September 16, 2021 BY

Clean team: Hazel, 5 and Fletcher, 8 headed out in the sun to clean up Rotary Centennial Park in Lucas with their rubbish tongs last week. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

A NEW environmental initiative from Alfredton Rotary Club is encouraging residents to clean up waste while they walk, and improve their waistline at the same time.

Launching on World Clean-Up Day on Saturday, 18 September, club member Deb Robertson said the long-term Walk Against Waste will ask Ballarat people to pick up rubbish while exercising in their community, and make it a habit.

The club will supply waste tongs to registered participants, letting them know where the public bins are in their home suburb through a map.

“We have noticed that many people are enjoying walking around their local community, so by supplying pick-up grabbers and identifying drop-off points throughout the community, we hope that they will take the opportunity to clean as they go,” she said.

“This is a great chance to enhance their environment, demonstrate pride in their town and keep fit. It’s a walk against waist, as well as waste.

“Participants are encouraged to send a picture of themselves picking up or disposing of rubbish, and each month a random picture will be chosen to be displayed on our social media, with a prize going to that winning person.”

Fellow club member and environmental advocate David Sanders said the Walk Against Waste idea was sparked when he and his wife were out for a stroll.

“We were horrified by the amount of disposable face masks blowing along the streets, so we started picking up one or two bags of rubbish when we went for a walk, and the street looked like a different street,” he said.

“If we can encourage people to take pride in their community, we all benefit from that in the long-term. One bag of rubbish from each person, within a combined effort, it can make a big difference.

“If we all take an interest, it gives us an inner glow and the positive habits could go on forever. Rubbish won’t be such a big problem.”

Those keen to commit to Walk Against Waste are asked to register and pay $5 to cover the rubbish tongs, and resources.

Ms Robertson said those involved will participate at their own risk, and that Alfredton Rotary Club takes no responsibility for injury or damage caused by, or arising from, the activity.

The project is being supported by groups including Integra, Central Highlands Water and the City of Ballarat. For more information or to register, contact David Sanders on 0419 108 844.

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