2nd Birthday in Coogee!

It was touch and go whether the Scavenge would go ahead on Saturday amidst all the rain. But surprisingly the weather stuck to it’s daily routine of late arvo showers and we escaped it simply by shifting the start time forward. Apologies to all that missed the memo and thought we’d be there until 6!

As the event was supported by Randwick Council we’re pretty stoked we got in 4 hours of scavenging and broke some records of participation, weight and butts collected! We also had over 250kg of pre-loved threads, books and all kinds of toys and knick-knacks that were donated by the community to trade for trash!

301kg of litter were collected on Saturday. This equated to 8 full wheelie bins -195kg of waste and 106kg of recycling. Amongst this were 7,681 cigarette butts and 5,816 pieces of sea glass that washed up smooth from all the tumbling around in the sand. All this rain has bought an insane amount of junk from our city streets into our beautiful bays and beaches! But luckily we had 145 pairs of hands there to pick it up!

3,700 of these butts were collected by Deana, Louis and Angel (seen below) whom spent a good hour scouring the Goldstein Reserve and managed to fill an entire shopping bag. The folk from Barzura Café can’t wait to get these guys in there and treat them to $50 of food and drinks to say thanks for saving all those toxins from entering the water!

Throughout the day we were treated by live tunes. Portia Bennett kicked us off whistling and strumming some laid back beats. And later Ari Levy plucked the funkiest and freshest of tracks with some soulful rap from Yoav and Maite. Thanks for bringing those goooood vibes!

We collected straws into the hundreds with a total of 458! Tim and Katie did the job on getting these pesky single-use items off the beach and out of the wind by collecting 40…. most of which came from McDonald’s of course! These guys have scored a delicious $50 voucher to Salt Pony Café. Well done!

Sarah Rhodes who runs Plastic Free Cambodia came down to have a chat to us all about single-use stuff. She wrapped it up by saying she trained herself to remember to bring a coffee cup by simply denying herself a coffee if she didn’t have one… Sounds like something we could all try!

50,000 coffee cups are used every 30 minutes in Australia which is quickly apparent on the beach where 138 were collected on Saturday... 19 of which by Scott Burges who has now landed himself a $50 voucher to Morning Glory Café. These legends also did $2.50 coffees for Scavengers with their own cups. Thanks for helping us spread the re-use vibes Morning Glory!

If you’re out of the loop and didn’t know the Coogee Pavilion were behind us for the second year running, then you missed out on one of the 100 beer, wine, spirit and soda vouchers they donated to cleanup Coogee. These gems were worth 20 items of litter and it’s safe to say many thirsts were quenched thanks to their generous donation! They also treated us volunteers to some delicious pizza post-event which our bellies were very appreciative of!

There was some weird and wacky stuff collected on Saturday from a piece of glass with the date of 1953 on it to a punching bag. But the mouth plate with 2 fake teeth definitely takes the cake. We have a photo of the winners but have failed to get their names down… So if you know these people tell them to get in touch to receive their $50 voucher to Bell & Anchor café!

Unfortunately the underwater cleanup planned for Gordon’s Bay that morning was cancelled due to massive swell the storms were throwing up. But at least Rianti Bieler from the Underwater Research Group who leads these dives still  had a chance to came down and share her tales of what makes its way below the depths. We also had Richie So and the Responsible Runners crew down there chatting regular cleanups at Coogee and Bondi! Look ‘em up!

Maybe it was one of these wicked talks that inspired our Scavengers to go above and beyond. Who knows? But with 1,679 pieces of litter Benedict Compton definitely took our tally up the most and in return can stretch out with a 5 class pass to the Living Room Yoga. Nathan Field Scavenged the furthest making his way round to Gordons Bay to scour under the boat ramp for sinkers… $50 voucher to Black Pony Café headed your way. 

As you can tell it was a jam-packed arvo of brilliant vibes and change making action. 6 local cafés took the Plastic-Free Pledge on Saturday. This was a challenge for them to ask their customers to not use straws, go topless on their coffees (no lids) as well as avoid plastic bags for the day. A massive thanks to Café Randwick, Coogee Café, Le Petit Café, Clearview Wellness Centre, Poke Café and Gusto for pioneering change in coffee culture!

It was a brilliant day, photos were snapped all over to win the $50 voucher at Bell & Anchor. After much deliberation we’ve settled on @vetchloes snap getting amongst the Scavenge frame with trash in hand….  Thanks for all the wicked photos guys, awesome to see what y’all were getting up to!

If anyone is interested in getting involved with the Scavenge on a more permanent basis and has some good skills to share, we are having a meet-up Wednesday 29th March that you’re welcome to join from 6:30pm:


Anna Jane Linke