CLEAN Up Australia Day has been labelled a success by local organiser Doug Reckord.
“It went fantastically well, we had double the volunteers and covered the most area ever,” he said.
Mr Reckord is the principal of the Bournda Environmental Education Centre (BEEC) which has been involved in the Clean Up Australia campaign for many years.
Volunteers swarmed areas around Wallagoot Lake and Sapphire Coast Drive in the Bournda Nature Reserve.
“We covered more area this year and pulled out a full ute load of recyclables and half a truck full of rubbish,” he said.
“Unfortunately yet again it was mostly made up a fast food rubbish, chip packets and coffee cups.
“I don’t understand why people, whether tourists or locals, need to throw rubbish around in this beautiful part of the world.”
Along with many local volunteers and workers from NSW National Parks and Wildlife (NPWS), the group was joined by staff from Merimbula McDonalds, who also supplied all the bags and gloves for the day.
“We appreciate they acknowledge that a lot of litter on the roadside is fast food waste,” Mr Reckord said.
“However, litter is not from that store alone and I think something needs to done to educate all consumers that throwing litter anywhere, particularly in unspoilt areas like this, just isn’t on.
“Sapphire Coast Drive isn’t the busiest road around here but the amount of rubbish we bagged is astonishingly.”
Mr Reckord said the group also worked on a new site between Wallagoot Lake Rd and Wallagoot Lane.
“Doing this new area really brought home to us that Clean Up Australia Day is important and does make a difference,” he said.
“This place was littered with rubbish and was not in the condition that parts we normally focus on.”
Another Clean Up Australia event was held in Tathra by the local Landcare group.
Organiser Jim Kelly said the day is timely and allows the group to clean up after the summer tourist season.
“The bush around Tathra is in pretty good condition, we find most of the rubbish on the paths leading to the beach or in the sand dunes where it has been left or blown,” he said.
“It’s mainly food wrappers and drink bottles, both plastic and aluminium.”
However, Mr Kelly said the group was shocked to find a large amount of white goods near the Tathra bike tracks.
“It’s a bit disturbing that people are too lazy to go to the tip, they just dump it in the bush.
“We found a double bed and a washing machine, and a full-size fire extinguisher was found in the dunes.”
Like Mr Reckord, Mr Kelly cautions people to think before they throw and take their rubbish with them.