CLEANING UP: Conservation Volunteers Australia's Paul Olive, Ross Stein, Ron Downs and Iris Cosgrove clear rubbish from Auckland Creek as part of the Taking the Trash Out of Gladstone's Tidal Wetlands project.
CLEANING UP: Conservation Volunteers Australia's Paul Olive, Ross Stein, Ron Downs and Iris Cosgrove clear rubbish from Auckland Creek as part of the Taking the Trash Out of Gladstone's Tidal Wetlands project. Jessica Perkins

SHAMEFUL: 726kg of rubbish pulled out of a Gladstone creek

VOLUNTEERS were shocked to finish a three-day trash haul with a whopping 726kg of rubbish they pulled from an 1800m stretch of Auckland Creek.

The clean-up forms part of Taking the Trash Out of Gladstone's Tidal Wetlands - a collaborative project with Conservation Volunteers Australia, MangroveWatch and the Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre.

It was supported by the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership and Gladstone Regional Council, which provided a truck to collect the rubbish.

The eight Gladstone CVA volunteers spent 18 hours over the three days collecting trash that had washed up into the banks.

It was then sorted and counted, with data added to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.

CVA Central Queensland manager Linda Fahle said she was disappointed with the amount of household and industrial waste that appeared to have been dumped into Auckland Creek and accrued over time.

"It just seems so unnecessary ... I don't know why people think it's OK to do that to our environment,” Ms Fahle said.

"It's wrecking the water quality - it's having an impact.

"I think ... if people see that there is other rubbish already there, they don't feel as bad.”

She said it was important to take care of our waterways.

"That's why we love Gladstone, is our healthy waterways and being able to enjoy these areas,” she said.

"And seeing that is just really rotten.”

Ms Fahle said she was impressed with the work done by the volunteers.

"It's pretty amazing that eight people can go out there and pull that amount of rubbish out, that's a huge effort,” she said.

Team leader Iris Cosgrove said some of the rubbish had been dumped in the creek, some was from sporting fields such as food packaging and some was just washed up.

"It's just disappointing that people aren't looking after their creeks, especially Auckland Creek - it's a main creek into our Gladstone region,” Ms Cosgrove said.

"It puts toxins into the creek, it's not healthy.”

"You wouldn't have rubbish in your kitchen piled up.”

WHAT DID THEY FIND?

Office chairs, washing machines, a mattress, prams, batteries and sharps kits all contributed to the 726kg of trash collected by eight Conservation Volunteers Australia volunteers over three days this week along an 1800m stretch of Auckland Creek.

There were also 56 cans, 21 shoes and 45 scrap metal or car parts collected along the water edge and along the banks.

"That's not brought there by the wind. That's not a lolly wrapper that got out of someone's wheelie bin,” Conservation Volunteers Central Queensland manager Linda Fahle said.

Clean-up crews found:

  • Plastic and foam items: 1361
  • Glass items: 324
  • Metal items: 180
  • Paper and cardboard: 142
  • Rubber items: 48

The Auckland Creek clean-up will be followed by a Wapentake Wetland clean-up next month from September 17-19 and the CVA team is are looking for extra hands.

It will run from September 17-19.

"If that's what can be achieved (at Auckland Creek) with just eight people, imagine if it was 20 or 30,” Ms Fahle asked.

Interested in helping with the Wapentake Wetland clean-up? Contact Linda Fahle at Conservation Volunteers Gladstone on 49724969 or email gladstone@cva.org.au



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