1200kgs of rubbish picked up in Byron Shire on Clean Up day

Published on 16 March 2023

Lady and small boy and girl with rubbish bag

Volunteers, school students, community groups and Council staff picked up more than 1,200kgs of rubbish across the Shire on the first weekend in March as part of Clean-Up Australia Day.

At Byron Bay, 90 volunteers turned out to help Council and Positive Change for Marine Life tackle the Main Beach area.

“We had backpackers, families, Byron Bay Surf Club nippers, Byron Scouts, and so many people in the community, all picking up rubbish,” Zoe White, Resource Recovery Education and Compliance Officer, said.

“We covered a stretch of one kilometre and in 45 minutes we collected 80kgs of waste.

“What was really interesting for volunteers was that this equated to more than 3,200 items, most of which was micro-litter,” she said.

This included:

  • 451 cigarette butts
  • 422 metal bottle caps
  • 306 drink containers (including coffee cups)
  • 86 pieces of single use cutlery and straws
  • 1,662 plastic items.

“Some people were very surprised at the amount of rubbish that was collected, and I think it will prompt them to rethink getting that next takeaway coffee, or buying that plastic bottle of water,” Ms White said.

At Brunswick Heads 21 volunteers collected almost 900kg.

In Mullumbimby, volunteers collected seven wheelie bins of street litter and the Byron Bird Buddies removed an extra 80kg from along the Brunswick River.

“What a massive effort on behalf of the Byron Shire community – thank you to the 400-plus volunteers for caring for the environment,” Ms White said.

Staff will be looking at the data surrounding the clean-up and use this to develop proactive and targeted anti-litter campaigns.

“Thanks again to everyone who took part in Clean Up Australia Day and people can find more tips to reduce waste at @byronbinfluencer,” Ms White said.

Information about waste services and campaigns is on Council's website.


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