Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bin 07 - Stash, Trash and Treasures

Who would stash 6 bottles of red wine under a bush near Cottesloe beach? Who would throw away a brand new canvas sports bag? How did a larger than life-size somewhat goulish plastic skin-coloured costume hand find its way into the Cottesloe dunes? And who would have lugged a large and heavy, beautifully carved and painted wooden golf hole marker all the way to our beach? Or a large car wheel with its tyre still attached?

These were some of the questions we asked ourselves at the Cottesloe Coastcare Clean-Up Australa Day site on Sunday 4 March 2007 – some 30 volunteers (including 8 children with their parents) registered between 9.00 and 11.00 am for our part in the national clean-up rubbish collection day and altogether we collected some 100kg of objects that were thrown (or stashed) away. Most of it was rubbish, of course – mainly (about 80!) glass beer bottles and plastic drink bottles, food wrappers and containers, broken glass, bottle and can tops and rings and miscellaneous pieces of plastic, polyestyrene and rope. But there were also some surprising finds – a snorkel complete with mask, several goggles, t-shirts, 2 pairs of undies, and sun glasses. We did find lots of cigarette butts, especially around benches, bus stops etc, but there were fewer than in previous years – is the message slowly spreading that they are not ‘biodegradable’ but take up to 10 years to degrade and actually are so toxic that they present a danger to our wildlife?

The feedback from most volunteer rubbish collectors was that in general the 2.5km Cottesloe beach front we targeted north and south from the ‘Dutch Inn’ site (at the corner of Marine Parade and Beach Street) was ‘reasonably clean’and better than last year. Maybe this is the result of regular Council cleaning? Or is it the effect of those many (and increasing numbers of) concerned people who regularly pick up rubbish as they go for their walks along our beautiful beach?

The Cottesloe Coastcare Association with great support from the Cottesloe Council has been involved in the Clean-Up Australia Day for many years and the response from our community – including a large number of school and university students – has been absolutely wonderful. It is very pleasing to see our coastline benefiting from this combined effort – a cleaner environment is a better habitat for our flora and fauna and a joy for everyone.

(Photos taken by Robyn Benken)


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