World Clean-Up Day – 740kg!

Let’s just start by saying, THANK YOU to the 93 people who braved the dust storm, side-ways raindrops and massive gusts creating surfable waves on the lake, to pick up trash all over Jindabyne for the 35th Scavenge and in solidarity with World Clean-Up Day!

The weather threw everything it had at us on Saturday, so we shifted set-up into the Town Hall and were super stoked when locals and tourists alike rolled in, ready to scavenge.

And scavenge they did!

740kg of trash was collected in 4 hours, including 200kg of recyclables, 2,995 butts, 458 glass bottles, 331 plastic bottles, 3,237 soft packaging, 754 cans and 1,240 pieces of paper/cardboard. There were people coming in with ute loads full of melted car parts, mattresses, scraps of rusted out metal, street signs, fake plants, bicycles, full cases of beer and plastics of all descriptions.

It was mayhem in the sorting station, with Scavengers bringing in bagS. Yes, bags and bags and bags EACH full of trash. People were going out, coming back, going out and coming back, each time tackling 100m stretches of roadside or bush land and finding insane quantities of litter.

We saw this commitment at last years Lakeside Scavenge, where 750kg of litter was collected by 120 people – in not dissimilar weather. An average Scavenge pulls in 200kg with the help of 100 hands. So, last year we put this spike down to the fact that there hadn’t been a large-scale clean-up in town for a looooong time.

But for it to happen again with even less hands is somewhat ‘impressive’. For those of you that need a visual, we filled 2 skip bins (supplied by Snowy Skips), 6 yellow 240L bins (supplied by Council) and 2 ute loads with rubbish (taken to the tip by locals). From the foreshore to the roadsides that splinter out from Jindabyne, there was too much trash to be collected.

Jindabyne has a population of less than 3,000 people in summer which swells to 20,000 people over a 3-4 month period of winter and more if you include the weekenders and short-term visitors. So where does all this trash come from:

1.     A seasonal town where the transient population don’t give a sh*t about their waste

2.     A windy town where poor waste management of bins and landfill from both the community and local government result in light weight materials being blown to places they shouldn’t

3.     A flooded town was not properly cleared by Snowy Hydro and has resulted in mass waste around the foreshore being uncovered with the unusually low lake levels

4.     A reflection on the quantity of waste going uncollected in rural towns across Australia

5.     A demonstration that if all the 3,450 Scavengers we’ve ever had at a Scavenge committed the whole 4 hours to clean-up that we’d end up with this amount in coastal areas too 

Most likely a combination of all the above.

Either way, the energy and support felt across Jindabyne for the Scavenge was unparalleled, particularly that from Snowy Monaro Regional Council. We had 9 wicked prizes donated from businesses all over town, 100 beer tokens donated by the Banjo, 80kg of pre-loved stuff donated by the community, 5 cafés take the Plastic-Free Pledge by not serving plastic straws on the day, 5 incredibly talented musicians perform, 3 local passionate waste warriors share their tips and local projects to reduce single-use plastic in the home, 1 amazing face-painter, Lavender Lily, and most importantly 15 legends who diligently sorted trash all day long.

Comparing the number of people to the quantity of litter collect with the previous 34 Scavenges, it is safe to say that the people of Jindabyne are by far the keenest and most committed to the cause.  

Thank you Jindabyne for showing us that it’s just as important to take responsibility for in-land waste as it is to clean-up the coast.

Can’t wait for next year!


Anna Jane Linke