Whip out the gloves for nation’s biggest working bee

Published 5:00am 27 February 2023

Whip out the gloves for nation’s biggest working bee
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Thousands of good Samaritans will be donning rubber gloves and picking up rubbish in local parks, streets, roadsides, beaches, waterways and public bushland this weekend for the nation’s biggest working bee - Clean Up Australia Day.

Held annually on the first Sunday in March, Clean Up Australia Day started more than three decades ago as an initiative to clean up, fix up and conserve the environment.

This year, there are more than 70 registered clean up events happening around Moreton Bay for people to join – with a number of Rotary Clubs, schools, scout groups, businesses and neighbourhoods taking part.

One group that is excited to be taking part is the Rotary Club of Redcliffe Sunrise Rotarians.

Past President Mick Larter says everyone is welcome to head on down on the day.

"The Rotary Club of Redcliffe Sunrise Rotarians have been passionate about the Clean UP Australia Day project since it commenced," Mick says.  

"The Rotarians, with the assistance of students from the Rotaract Clubs (Junior Rotary) at Southern Cross Catholic College and Redcliffe State High Schools, get involved to make the environment around the Redcliffe foreshore a better and cleaner place.

"The morning clean-up becomes a good work out of walking, bending and chatting. It's always an opportunity to socalise, make new friends, learn about Rotary's work and make a difference to our local community and environment

"Can't wait to do it again March 5 at 7:30am." 

Pip Kiernan, Chair of Clean Up Australia Day, is urging residents to join an event to help make a positive change for the environment.

“Australians tell us every day they are concerned about the world we live in but often feel frustrated and unsure on how to make a positive impact. Clean Up Australia Day is a great opportunity to work together and take practical action,” Pip says.

“Signing up now means you’re making a pledge to improve and protect Australia’s environment.

“Whether you are nine or 90, participating in a Clean Up Australia Day event changes the way you think about your everyday habits and the practical changes each of us can make.”

To find an event near you, visit the Clean Up Australia Day website.

Whip out the gloves for nation’s biggest working bee

Most picked up items

According to Clean Up Australia’s National Rubbish Report 2022, some of the top rubbish items collected during last year’s event included non-food packaging, soft plastics, fast food/take away containers and rubbish, beverage containers, sanitary items, household items, E-waste, sporting equipment/toys, construction material, cigarette butts, glass pieces and face masks.

Facts about Clean Up Australia Day

  • Clean Up Australia Day was founded by Ian Kiernan, AO, and Kim McKay, AO.
  • Ian, an avid sailor, was so shocked by the pollution and rubbish in the ocean that he decided to take matters into his own hands and organised a community event with the support of a committee of friends, including co-founder Kim McKay.
  • Clean Up Australia Day was then born in 1990.
  • More than 20 million Aussies have participated in Clean Up Australia Day activities and events over the past three decades.
  • 38.5 million hours of volunteer time has been donated to Clean Up activities.

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