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Stepping up on Clean Up Australia Day

People at beach clean upA big thank you to all our community members and Councillors who stepped up on Clean Up Australia Day. We had more than 25 clean ups across our local area, helping to keep our harbour and bushland reserves beautiful.

A special shout-out the following groups and organisations for their efforts: Cranbrook School, Rose Bay Scouts, Splash without the Trash, Sydney Dive Treasure Hunters, Goethe Institute, Salesforce, Rose Bay Aquatic Hire, Royal Australian Navy, Sea Shepherd, Transport for NSW Maritime and all those we didn't hear about!

At our Rose Bay and Watsons Bay sites we collected more than 80 kilograms of litter. Once again this year the most common items found were cigarette butts. New items to the waste stream as a result of COVID-19 are surgical masks, mini hand sanitiser bottles and disposable wipes. The strangest things collected included a basketball hoop, a giant Moet bottle (yes it was empty) and even a letterbox. Thankfully this year we had less straws and take away containers.

Thanks to NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for support through their litter reduction grant program.

Get Involved

Your group can organise a beach clean up anytime by emailing us with details of your proposed date and preferred location.

See details below for how to be involved as an individual.

HarbourCare needs you!

Harbour Care Volunteers

We're looking for volunteers to join our HarbourCare program.

Litter in Sydney Harbour is a big problem. Woollahra Council has a range of ways of stopping litter entering our waterways and we clean our beaches and foreshore areas every week – but we can’t solve the problem of litter at our beaches on our own. We need your help.

There are already lots of locals picking up litter on our beaches, either on their own or in a group. HarbourCare is a way of bringing everyone together to recognise the important volunteer work they do, provide support and encourage others to get involved too.

How can I help?

Sign up to HarbourCare and volunteer to collect litter at a beach near you. It's as easy as keeping an eye out for litter while on your morning walk or swim, or joining a group pick up day. You can sign up for as little as a week, month, year or more – it's up to you.

How does HarbourCare work?

The HarbourCare program supports individuals or groups who pick rubbish on our beaches.

  • Sign up to HarbourCare and select a clean-up location
  • Attend an induction session on-site with Council staff where we'll provide you with the equipment you’ll need including gloves and bags
  • Visit your chosen clean-up location as often as you'd like, on any day of the week, and collect any litter you see – you can go on your own or connect with other volunteers in your area
  • Record the amount and types of litter you collect and provide this information back to us by email at sustainability@woollahra.nsw.gov.au
  • Drop the litter off in the closest litter bin at your clean-up area

We ask you to keep a record of the type and amount of litter you collect and pass this information back to us at Council. This will help us better understand the types of waste entering the harbour, assess our services on the ground and help us develop targeted educational campaigns to try and put a stop to plastic pollution.

I'm in, what else can I do?

Great! We're also asking everyone to commit to rethinking your use of single-use plastics including plastic bottles, plastic bags and take-away containers. These items represent a large proportion of the litter found in our waterways. Take your own shopping bags, avoid using plastic products where you can and invest in a reusable cup for your takeaway coffees.

Some local cafés offer a discount to customers who bring their own reusable cup - look out for a Responsible Café near you.

Reduce the amount of plastic at your next event - download our Quick Guide - Alternatives to Single Use Plastic.

Are there any clean-up events?

Some local and national groups are doing a fantastic job of helping to keep our coast healthy and beautiful. If you would like to link up with an organised group why not lend a hand at one of these community events?

Where do I go for more information?

Please contact Council's Environmental Education Officer on 9391 7095 for more information.