A QUARTER-century after the first Clean Up Australia Day, local environmental groups are still doing their part to keep Tamworth beautiful.
Though there was still plenty of rubbish to gather, Tamworth Urban Landcare Group chairman Paul Moxon said overall the anti-littering message of Clean Up Australia had sunk into the local psyche after 25 years.
“The pleasing thing is we get less and less rubbish every year,” Mr Moxon said.
He said seven years ago when the group first ran a Clean Up Australia event, they would find 20 shopping trolleys and fill a whole truck full of rubbish.
In recent years, they have collected two or three trolleys and filled only a third of a truck.
“The message is starting to sink in,” Mr Moxon said.
“Instead of becoming a once-a-year thing, people are more conscious in their day-to-day life.
“There has definitely been a change in people’s attitudes.”
Mr Moxon said while the local group continued to run its own event along the Peel, this year’s was not a large-scale affair open to the public, as a focus on other
programs and cuts to Landcare funding limited the number of activities the group could run.
Tidy Towns committee chairman Paul Ying said with the amount of discarded drink containers found during yesterday’s clean up, the state government’s plans to implement a container deposit scheme – which would reimburse locals for their recycling efforts or allow them to make a donation to charity – would be most welcome in the region.
He said his clean up group had collected nine garbage bags before a heavy downpour of rain, though this year was “a little bit cleaner”.
“A major part of the problem would be the smokers – there are a lot of cigarette butts and a lot of fast-food waste,” Mr Ying said.
He urged community members to remember littering attracted hefty fines of up to $200.