Scavenging, rain, hail or shine!

Whilst most people were tucked up inside with a warm cup of tea in hand, us Scavengers were braving the comparatively cooler temps and the pitter-patter of rain. The radar had said it would clear up for a couple of hours in the afternoon and that’s what we were holding out for.

Participants started rolling in at 1pm on the dot whilst it was still drizzling, but by 1:30pm the radar held true and we were underway. Big shout out to Randwick City Council and Sea Life Trust who financially supported this Maroubra Scavenge. 

Our new and improved bike generator, built by #1 scavenge volunteer Paul Phillips, was getting charged…  so the likes of Grace Brown on vocals and Matt Stacey on guitar could bring on the good vibes!

Of course there was no shortage of butts to be found, with our total tally reaching 3,281. The most butts was actually collected by Tanya with over 300! Scoring herself a 5-class pass to The Collaborative Maroubra.

Participants were bringing in bags packed to the brim; everything from thousands of Styrofoam balls, stacks of soft plastic packaging to straws and coffee cups, countless plastic lids and so much more.

In total 306.8kg of litter was collected including a 120kg of recycling from Maroubra. Very grateful for the support from Randwick City Council who promptly came down and collected all the litter… Somewhat disheartening to see all our tirelessly separated litter go into the same truck though! 

Oh and how could we forget, the Underwater Research Group led by Rianti Bieler took a journey down to Bare Island and dived below the depths to pick-up 26.7kg of rubbish! This included 13.5kg of fishing sinkers, 3.5kg of dive weights and 9.7kg of mixed rubbish! Taking the total weight for the day to 333.5kg!!

There were a LOT of odd items being pulled in from the surrounding area; from car rims to Marvel characters to vibrators to street signs. But by far the strangest (and creepiest) item had to be the washed out framed portrait of a baby found by Emma… Scoring herself a surf lesson with the crew at Lets Go Surfing. NO idea how this ended up at the beach!

We had over 250kg of pre-loved clothes, toys and books set-up in the market, all of which had been donated by the Maroubra community in the weeks leading-up to the Scavenge. Shout-out to all the people who picked out some quality items from their wardrobe to go to the Scavenge!

Not only were there clothes and books to buy with the litter currency but also delicious beverages from The Bay Hotel & Diner. A massive thanks to Troy, Brendan, Olivia and Nathan and all the staff for their support on the day and rewarding our core Scavenge volunteers with a much needed beverage and burger!

We had a crew of about 15 volunteers down there on the day to make the Scavenge happen. They set-up in the rain, they smiled all the way through sorting litter, signing them in and even during the mad flurry of pack-up whilst the rain started to pelt. As usual, nothing would be possible without them, so hats off to them all!

To wrap up the day we had Billsbry aka Charlie Fisher, a veteran musician at the Scavenge, come down and perform some funkilicious beats. Before that we heard from Eva from Responsible Runners and Aleysha from the Helm Society talk about the fast fashion industry.

We also had 8 cafés doing their bit to clean-up the ocean by taking our Plastic-Free Pledge on Saturday. This committed them to avoiding at least one single-use item on the day of the event:

1.     The Grumpy Baker – no bags
2.     Pavilion Beachfront – no coffee lids, no straws, no bags
3.     Beverage Depot – no bags, 50c off coffee for takeaway customer
4.     Zeebra Café – no straws
5.     The North EndC afé – no straws, no lids
6.     Flamez Eatery – no takeaway containers
7.     Chalk Espresso – no plastic bags
8.     Marini Café– no plastic bags

As we proved again on Saturday thanks to the 108 participants that braved the unpleasant, rainy weather, cleaning up and looking after our beaches can be an epic amount of fun. But if all we do it clean-up, then that’s all we’ll ever do… So, if we can all stop using at least one single-use plastic item like coffee cups or straws then there’s one lot of rubbish that we won’t need to worry about!

Anna Jane Linke