Community members behind shire clean-up
FED up community members have taken action against rubbish dumping on the Great Ocean Road with plans to get all coastal towns involved in the clean-up.
The 3231 Rubbish Rangers is a community-led group, created to address residents’ concerns over the growing amount of rubbish littering Aireys Inlet.
First proposed by local woman Glenys Drayton, the group started with around five locals meeting each Saturday to pick up rubbish before grabbing a coffee.
Since beginning in September the group now has around 10 residents volunteering each week.
Jacqui Lamont joined the 3231 Rubbish Rangers in the beginning stages and has now begun establishing a group in Anglesea.
“It started when a few of us were commenting about all the rubbish on the Great Ocean Road and how terrible it was,” she said.
“What is astounding about the Great Ocean Road is people throwing stuff out of their cars, and anywhere a car can pull up we find rubbish.
“It is very disheartening to see people can come down to the Surf Coast and look at this beautiful area and think it is okay to throw their rubbish into the bush.”
The Rubbish Rangers were collecting up to 100kg of rubbish each session at the beginning of their weekly meets.
“The great thing is that we had a few people from Anglesea contact us, so last month we organised our group to meet them and pick-up rubbish together,” Ms Lamont said.
She said the Anglesea meet attracted 11 local volunteers with just a few days’ notice.
“Once we started cleaning up Fairhaven, Aireys Inlet and Eastern View we saw how bad Anglesea was, so it is great to get a group up and going,” she said.
“We are hoping to get a group in every town on the Surf Coast Shire.”
The Rubbish Rangers have been awarded the Surf Coast Shire’s Local Legends Award as well as receiving $1,000 from Aireys Inlet District Association to buy supplies and hi-vis vests with a personalised logo.
Ms Lamont called the program “community action as its best”.
“I missed one Saturday since September because it becomes addictive,” she said.
“We have made some great friendships through this.”
The 3231 Rubbish Rangers are now looking for a leader for the establishing Anglesea group.
“After the first session, I think it will just grow and grow from here,” Ms Lamont said.
For residents interested in joining you can find out more on the ‘Anglesea Life’ or the ‘3231 Surfcoast connection’ Facebook pages.