After some of our members commented that littering seems to be increasing, the Rotary Club of Warragul decided to support the Keep Australia Beautiful Week with a clean-up event on Sunday 13 August. The aim of this week is to engage and challenge the community, while encouraging long term change behaviour that can be adopted well after the week is done.
What will the litter collected tell us about behaviours that need to change to reduce the problem?
(From the left) Rosemary Allica, Andrea Klindworth, Teresa Mitchell, Chris Major and Geoff Chilver display all the rubbish they collected from the Warragul CBD
Wearing high visibility vests, teams of Rotarians walked the streets and car parks of Warragul picking up litter. After 90 minutes, our two teams of picker uppers had collected 9 shopping bags of rubbish and three of recyclables.
Chris Major, Teresa Mitchell, Rosemary Allica and Geoff Chilver about to embark o the rubbish hunt in the Warragul CBD
Most rubbish collected was what was expected. Lots of wet mushy paper waste from tissues and shopping dockets, plastic from confectionary and fast-food packaging.
As discussed in the ABC series War on Waste, there were many soy sauce containers and lids littering the pavement outside a sushi shop.
There were a few surprises. The more unusual items found included a coat hanger, a piece of metal car wheel trim and a bicycle cable and lock. There were few cigarette butts in the main streets but over one hundred and fifty butts were collected around the bus shelter in Palmerston Street!
Rubbish flows with storm water into side-entry pits on roads to be discharged to waterways. Here it may harm our wildlife along creeks, rivers and beaches. Did you know chemicals from butt’s leach into water and are toxic to fish?All Australians may help by being more caring toward the environment. Place items in a bin or tuck them in a bag or your pocket for the bin at home.  Try to use less by reusing and refusing as often as possible. Smokers, please take a personal butt container to use when you have finished smoking.
In 2020, Rotary International acknowledged the urgent need to support the planet and adopted Environmental Sustainability as a seventh area of focus. The Club is proud to support the planet with two Clean Up events per year and other environmental initiatives.
Avoiding rubbishing our environment is important. It is unpleasant and annoying for users of public spaces to see that others do not care.
Warragul Rotary thanks Baw Baw Shire Council for providing for the free disposal of the rubbish collected.