Meet Rob - our local Harbourcare volunteer

Published on 26 February 2024


Meet Rob, a Vaucluse local, who has been picking up rubbish from the beaches for about five or six years now.

"I’m a keen snorkeller at all the local beaches, I’d see cans or bottles in the water. And I tended to pull them out and bring them out with me. I just didn't think so much would get washed up so regularly," shared Rob.

"I mean, you might clean a beach one day. You go back two days later and you pick up the same amount of rubbish that you did two days before. You think, well, that's all blown in or been washed in or been dropped since I was last here. I reckon I've picked up thousands of pieces of rubbish over the years. Some days I think I've picked up hundreds, even on the one day.

"You get plastic straws, you get cigarette butts unfortunately, sometimes you get the takeaway coffee cups and the plastic lids, plastic bottles, plastic bottle tops and lids. There's an awful lot coming in," said Rob.

Thank you for binning your rubbish

Anything dropped or left in gutters - like chip packets, plastic bottles, coffee cups and cigarette butts - gets washed down the drains and ends up on our beaches. Always put your rubbish in the bin.

One of the most common pieces of litter found in our waterways and on our beaches is cigarette butts. To help everyone bin their butts responsibly, we have installed six cigarette butt bins around Rushcutters Bay, Watsons Bay and Rose Bay.

Get involved

Keeping our harbour looking clean and beautiful is everyone’s responsibility. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Pick up litter whenever you see it on our beaches, in our parks and on our streets.
  • Sign up to our HarbourCare program and report back to us on the types and quantities of litter you find.
  • Join one of the amazing community groups dedicated to keeping our harbour clean – like Splash without the Trash or Responsible Runners.
  • If you see someone littering from their vehicle you can report it to EPA and fines of $250 for an individual and $500 for a corporation can be issued.

There are many local volunteering opportunities available if you’d like to get involved. In addition to Bushcare and HarbourCare, volunteers are an essential part of our libraries and Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize. We’re also always looking for volunteers at our Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf.

You can volunteer as little or much of your time as you’d like. Volunteering is for everyone including students, retirees, mums and dads, or anyone who has a bit of spare time to offer.

Read more about volunteering opportunities in our local area.

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