Tyalla Public School students on patrol, Jadezia Briggenshaw, Rhys Calder, Malcolm Torrens and Michael Blomkamp.
Tyalla Public School students on patrol, Jadezia Briggenshaw, Rhys Calder, Malcolm Torrens and Michael Blomkamp. ROB WRIGHT

Join Clean Up Australia Day

VOLUNTEERS are still needed at a large number of Coffs Coast Clean Up Australia locations tomorrow. Local schools were given the ‘emu patrol’ treatment yesterday.

Food packaging waste dominated the rubbish finds at Tyalla Public School.

“It stunk,” student Jadezia Briggenshaw said. “Cleaning up is good for the animals, so you make sure the animals don’t die – you make sure they don’t eat the waste,” fellow student Michael Blomkamp said.

“You can keep the world clean – we don’t want to look at yuck,” student Rhys Calder said.

Only seven of the 34 listed sites on the Coffs Coast had attracted enough volunteers to clear the area of a year’s accumulated rubbish. Several sites had only two to three nominated volunteers, so there are many opportunities for people to slip on the gloves and lend a hand tomorrow.

“It’s not just one day a year for me – I get in the gumboots and go into the creek near my home once a week to clear the rubbish,” volunteer site co-ordinator Lillian Livermore said.

A door, bed and wringing wet blankets were among the finds in her 18 years clearing Coffs Harbour Rotary Park, opposite the council chambers for Clean Up Australia Day.

“Someone said to me once, ‘well, we don’t make the mess’ and I said, we don’t make the mess either – but if you just consider all the mess across Australia we’d be living in a pigsty. That’s not our scene to live in a pigsty,” Mrs Livermore said.

Coffs Coast beaches, creeks and waterways are often nominated by both visitors and locals as the best features. However, surveys by the Clean Up Australia team found beaches were the most polluted locations in the state and more rubbish was removed from NSW waterways than any other state.

The top five rubbish items found by Clean Up Australia teams are cigarette butts, PET drink bottles, plastic and foil snack food packaging and bottle caps

More encouraging is every year Mrs Livermore and her team of eight volunteers find less rubbish. If you want to help reduce the waste, visit www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au to find a list of all the times and locations of Clean Up Australia sites tomorrow.

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