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Thousands throw out the trash in Lake Mac for Clean Up Australia Day

More than 7000 volunteers have helped make Lake Macquarie a cleaner and greener City as part of this year’s Clean Up Australia Day.

On foot, in 4WDs and even in kayaks on Cockle Creek, volunteers collected almost six tonnes of rubbish from more than 70 sites across the City.

And that’s not including recyclable material and the dozens of old car tyres volunteers retrieved.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser, who joined Greater Charlestown Sustainable Neighbourhood Group volunteers cleaning up a site in Whitebridge, said it was heartening to see so many people show concern for – and pride in – their local environment.

“We have so much natural beauty to treasure and celebrate in Lake Mac,” Cr Fraser said.

“Events like Clean Up Australia Day reinforce the strong connection our community has to that amazing environment.”

“It also reveals there are unfortunately still some people who do the wrong thing and litter or illegally dump rubbish, and we must do what we can to reduce this problem.”

Car parts, fridges, eskies and the front wheel of a motorbike were among the items recovered during Sunday’s clean-up activities, which included an extensive collection of rubbish south of Redhead Beach, popular with 4WD enthusiasts.

Landcare groups, Lions Clubs, SES branches and church groups were among the participants across the 72 Lake Mac sites, making the City the hub of Clean Up Australia Day activities in the Hunter Region.

Hunter Valley Paddlesports Club members climbed aboard their vessels to comb the banks of Cockle Creek, hauling in piles of rubbish throughout the morning. It follows a similar effort by club members in November, during which they collected more than 500kg of waste from Cockle Creek in just two hours.

“As a paddling club, we want to sustain the health and beauty of our local waterways,” club spokeswoman Sally Verheul said.

“We want to help sustain the local ecosystems so that future generations can also enjoy our beautiful region.”

Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Community Partnerships Andrew Bryant said the use of single-use plastics and other disposable items had increased significantly since the outbreak of COVID-19.

“That has been largely unavoidable in a lot of cases, but it does highlight the need to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever we can, and to dispose of things in the correct bin,” he said.

“Clean Up Australia Day is such an important annual event, but community groups, schools and other local organisations can also organise their own clean-ups any time of the year through our Eco Angel program.”

Go to lakemac.com.au for more information.

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