TROLLEYS, tyres and truckloads of trash, Tamworthians saw it all when they hit the Peel River for Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday morning.
A combined effort from Landcare, the West Tamworth League Fishing Club and OzFish saw a record number of community members roll out to help bag up rubbish from the area.
OzFish Northwest’s Anne Michie, who also works with Tamworth Regional Landcare Association, said it was pleasing to see different community groups come together for the same cause.
“(Our waterways) are atrocious,” she said of the amount of rubbish being dumped in the river.
“But people are becoming more aware.
“The roll-up has been amazing, the number of people wanting to help out.”
OzFish is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping the millions of Aussie recreational fishers take control of the health of their rivers, lakes and estuaries and shore up the future of the sport they love.
“It’s not just about gross pollution, but it’s also affects habitats, homes,” Ms Michie said.
“It’s great everyone has come together working in partnership.”
The group did a clean-up of a small section of Peel River just before Christmas and collected 80 kilograms of rubbish and six shipping trolleys – all in a 200-metre stretch.
The annual event also included tree planting to re-vegetate parts of the eroded riverbank.
West Tamworth League Fishing Club secretary Iris Iverson said it was great to see so many people involved in the event.
“We’re still finding a fair bit of rubbish,” she said.
“We’ve got tyres and trolleys, and heaps of bags already.”
WOOLOMIN CLEANS UP
A small band of helping hands cleaned up the village of Woolomin and found it was the roadside areas where people tossed their rubbish.
“It’s very disappointing to see what people are throwing out,” volunteer Lorraine Gibson said, finding a CD collection, beer bottles, cans and cigarette packets along the main highway on the outskirts of town.
“Some things fall out of the back of utes and trailers which are accidental losses but these things have been thrown out of the window on purpose.”
In addition, two large barrels, fuel container (with fuel), bucket and general rubbish were collected with a half trailer load taken to the Dungown tip by co-ordinator Patricia Cruzado.
“The reason why we enlisted this year was because we noticed the amount of roadside rubbish as we were driving along,” Ms Cruzado said.
“It can be a busy road on weekends when visitors go to the Chaffey Dam so we’d just like people to be aware and take their rubbish home with them.”
Staff, parents and children from the Woolomin school community covered the village while Ms Gibson focused on the roadside.
“The town itself was clean but it’s the open road that people aren’t taking responsibility for – it’s not their backyard,” Ms Gibson said.