Bass Coast,
03
March
2014
|
04:28
Australia/Melbourne

Bass Coast Community Cleans Up

Clean+Up+Australia+Day+volunteers+in+Wonthaggi+%28from+left%29+Simone+Short%2C+Denise+Miller%2C+Vern+Gitsham%2C+Carolyn+Charles%2C+Pamela+Jacka+%28with+Rocko%29%2C+Leo+O%26%23039%3BBrien+and+Bronwyn+Hevern+collected+around+eight+bags+of+rubbish+and+recyclables.+

Volunteers helped keep Bass Coast beautiful last week, with hundreds taking part in Clean Up Australia Day.

Around 80 volunteers collected rubbish from eight different sites on Sunday, adding to the hundreds of students from Cowes Primary School and Newhaven College who helped clean up Phillip Island on Friday.

Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, congratulated those who gave their time to pick up rubbish.

“Well over 20 bags of recyclables and 50 bags of rubbish were removed from our beaches, parks and streets,” Cr Rankine said.

“The most common litter by number was cigarette butts, with Cowes Primary students alone picking up more than 2,000 of them from garden beds in Thompson Avenue.”

Soft plastic and recyclable food and drink packaging were the most common litter by volume, followed closely by plastic bits of litter such as lolly and ice cream wrappers and plastic bags.

Recyclable bottles and cans were still a common item at some of the sites, especially along the Inverloch foreshore.

The amount of hard waste found was down this year; however, 42 car tyres were removed, mostly from Scenic Estate on Phillip Island.

“Other than Scenic Estate, there was actually very little hard waste – just one broken body board at Smiths Beach and a small footstool at Wonthaggi Wetlands,” Cr Rankine said.

“Less dumped hard waste is a very positive sign that the community’s attitude to illegal dumping is changing and more people are making better use of responsible disposal options such as recycling via Transfer Stations, or donating to charities.”

To support the community’s Clean Up efforts, Council issued fines to littering smokers over the weekend.

Four $289 fines were issued to offenders from Wonthaggi, Morwell and Mornington.

A woman from Chadstone will also be fined $577 discarding a lit cigarette butt.

“The data from this year’s Clean Up Australia events indicates a crackdown on butt littering might be on the cards in the not too distant future,” Cr Rankine said.

The community can support Clean Up volunteers by reporting litterers to Council or EPA Victoria.