Wynard (TAS) *Spring Into Scavenge*

After a week of cold and rainy weather, which had us biting our nails and wondering whether we’d be able to go ahead, the sun and the beautiful spring weather turned it on for our very first Seaside Scavenge in Tasmania.

 

Spring into Scavenge - Tasmania, took place in Gutteridge Gardens, Wynyard, on the beautiful North West Coast.  The gardens are situated on the banks of the Inglis River mouth, which meant that from our hub, Scavengers could choose to venture up along the beach, or down along the river track.

 

We had a really great turn out for our first event - with around 40 people registering, including a whole bunch of young scavengers!  People ventured far and wide to pick up rubbish - including the nearby showgrounds, skate park, and up along the highway.  We’re very lucky to have a beautifully scenic drive stretching many km’s that hugs the coastline, however unfortunately highways tend to attract rubbish - which ends up being thrown meters from the waters edge.  In the lead up to the event, I’d been in contact with the Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management authority, who reminded me that we were at the start of shorebird nesting season, and that the coastal strip at Wynyard is home to both nesting shorebirds and penguins.  To me, this was extra incentive to remove potentially harmful litter from the beach, and the shorelines.

 

Amongst 40 people, we were able to remove 4,493 pieces of rubbish, totalling 138kg, from along the river, the beach and the highway around Wynyard.  This included 2112 pieces of plastic, 1134 cigarette butts, 178 bottle caps, a suitcase full of soft toys, and an old metal exercise bike (amongst other things).

 

I was really blown away by the community support for this event.  Having moved to the area only a year ago, it’s through organising events like this that I am reminded of the generosity of people in small towns and rural areas.  How lovely it is to walk around town delivering posters to shopfronts, and stopping to yarn with supportive shop owners who tell me ‘oh you should get in touch with so-and-so, they make art out of trash!’.  There is definitely momentum here, and plenty of good-will.  Our first Scavenge may have been the bare bones, but I feel confident that if we were to do another down the line, it could be an extravaganza!

 

I would like to say a massive thank you to Sandra at Ilk Yoga Studio, Umami Cafe, Nuts About Health, LiveWell Tasmania and Waratah Wynyard Council for their generous support.  We also had a small but amazing group of volunteers, without whom the event could not have gone ahead.  Knee deep in rubbish to be sorted, one of our volunteers Laura said “wow, I am going to be so much more aware of my waste after this!” - and to me, that’s what it’s all about.

Rachel Small, Seaside Scavenge Event Coordinator Tasmania