Positive signs in Mt Martha clean-up

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In the water: Kayaker Andrew Jones helps clean Balcombe Creek.

Clean-Up Australia Day volunteers at Mt Martha are happy to report “significantly less rubbish” being found than in previous years.

Registrar Jan Jones, a member of Mt Martha Yacht Club and Balcombe Estuary Reserves Group, said: “Let’s hope that future years of Clean-Up Australia continue to see a reduced need for this event.

“We also hope this [less rubbish] is due to greater awareness of the environmental impact of careless rubbish disposal alongside the impact of the clean team funded by Mornington Peninsula Shire over the past few summers.” 

Volunteers from the yacht and lifesaving clubs, Rotary, BERG and residents swept an area from the rocks at Balcombe Point, along the foreshore, past the creek mouth and north to the rear of boat sheds opposite Coolangatta Road.

They also scoured the village, car parks and several streets.

Organisers were concerned the hot weather would deter volunteers, but, in the morning, the 47 who registered set about collecting 30 large bags of rubbish. For some it was a family effort with eight children joining in with their parents.

Three yacht club kayakers lugged their kayaks across the sand bar at the mouth of Balcombe Creek and collected rubbish along the creek. This included fishing line and hooks caught in trees along the creek. 

Volunteers queried the lack of recycling bins in the village surrounds as about half of the items collected were potentially recyclable – plastic and glass bottles and containers, drink cans, cardboard drink cartons and packaging.

“The good news is that fewer plastic bags were collected, but chip and confectionery bags and fast food packaging were abundant,” Mrs Jones said.

Only a couple of very large items were collected: a big roll of black construction plastic and two car tyres.

First published in the Mornington News – 12 March 2019

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