Bigger and Better in Port Mac

It’s a wonderful thing when it turns out bigger and better second-time round, and that’s exactly what happened on Saturday! Almost a year ago to the day we hosted our first Port Macquarie Scavenge at Town Beach.

We had 160 people come lend a hand to clean-up all the way from Bonnie Hills to Settlement Point. That’s double the number of hands we had last year, but even better is we didn’t collect as much rubbish! 246.5kg compared to last years, 259kg! We had comments floating in that, ‘there’s nothing left on the beach!’.

Plus, it marked the first event for our Port Macquarie Seaside Scavenge Chapter supported by Port Macquarie Hastings Council and Taronga Zoo, and led by local legend Karen Fulton with the support of a handful of passionate and inspiring woman; Shan, Meegs, Amelia and Rhi… Without whom we wouldn't have managed half of this epic day!

The day opened with Rhonda Radley who is a Birrbay woman from Port Macquarie. She welcomed us to connect and share the land we were standing on and to respect it alongside one another. The Boomerang Bags crew were set-up to share their DIY kits and the Climate Change Australia mob there to spread action against Adani.

Throughout the day we heard from Kate from Kate Caterers, who has successfully set up a completely plastic-free bakery… She even baked us a bunch of delicious loafs that were up for grabs for 3 trash tokens. Needless to say they were gone before the first hour was up!

Liam came down from Coastal Warriors to give us a hand and let people know how to get amongst the clean-up action on a regular basis. We had Maria Doherty from Council chat to our very own Plastic Pollution Solutions MC, Anthony Hill! Oh and a special ‘What’s recyclable?’ workshop by the Miss Rhi Rebellion.

Whilst all this was happening, the sorting station was a constant flurry of trash separating, counting and cataloging. Throughout the day, a total of 2,711 cigarette butts were collected. The most came in from Lee and Sherley with an epic haul of 430 and have scored themselves a surf lesson with Port Surf School!

There was also a constant stream of odd items being collected from fleece blankets with plants growing from it to number plates to street signs… but something we’ve never come across before was an entire camera lens. So well done to Emma’s dedicated crew of cleaners that scoured from Town to Flynns beach to collect 3 bags and a bucket of trash! We hope you enjoy your $100 voucher to Glasshouse.

The market was set-up with all kinds of colourful goods! Over 185kg of pre-loved threads, toys, books and more had been donated by the local Port community and snapped up throughout the day to the toe tapping tunes provided by local musos, Charleigh and Brock and later in the day by Todd Bourke…

Big appreciation goes out to Todd Bourke for his patience and understanding as our bike powered generator had to get an extra surge of power from some gung-hoe cyclists before we could kick off again!

There was a stack of support from all over town, with a whole heap of local businesses taking the plastic free pledge to avoid at least one single-use item on the day. Big shout out to:

·      Murray St Bakery
·      Salty Crew Kiosk
·      Drury Lane Eatery
·      Carlos & Co.
·      LVs On Clarence
·      Four Espresso
·      Social Grounds
·      Port City Bowling Club
·      Breakwall HQ

And the legendary crew over at The Duck for giving us 60 beers that could be purchased with just 2 trash tokens! Libby from Bunnings got in touch last minute to donate a whole heap of gloves in all sizes and tubs for the clean-up too.

There was something for everyone on Saturday, which is what we’re all about at the Scavenge… Bringing people together with a twist of fun, action and smiles to clean-up our coastline. Again, a massive thanks to Port Mac Council for funding the event and particularly Nicky Julian for ALL her extra-ordinary help.

The Scavenge is here to stay in Port, so for anyone in the area interested in getting involved there’s a crew of volunteers that you definitely want to get to know… We’re tingling with excitement to see where you guys take it.

Anna Jane Linke