Kingscliff clean-up rakes in massive rubbish haul
A WHOPPING 56 kilograms of rubbish was picked up in an hour at Kingscliff last week, during a massive community operation to tidy up the area.
Organiser and Kingscliff resident Jen Slape, who is a volunteer for Australian Seabird Rescue in Ballina, said she arranged the community clean-up due to her passion for sea turtles which often died from ingesting plastic.
A group of about 75 people gathered at Faulks Park and made their way along Cudgen Creek towards the beach, picking up all the rubbish they could find.
During the one-hour clean-up, 56kg of rubbish was picked up, including 2000 cigarette butts, 59 straws, 46 lollipop sticks, 25kg of timber and wood along with several kilograms of clothing, cans and glass.
Ms Slape said she was "absolutely stoked” by the community response.
"I couldn't believe the number of people that were there,” she said.
"I thought there'd maybe be 30, I'd have been stoked with that so I was absolutely blown away and overwhelmed because it shows people actually do care about the environment and I was quite emotional about it, really.
"Sometimes if you're fighting for the environment, and I'm always picking up rubbish wherever I go, it sometimes feels you're the only one doing it, but to see so many people rock up, it blew my mind.”
Ms Slape said people were "shocked” by the amount of rubbish collected and she now planned on organising more clean-ups.
"The looks on people's faces when we dumped all the rubbish on the tarp, it was really visual and we could see what we'd done and everyone was shocked,” she said.
"Because it was so popular I'm planning to do one at the end of every season.”
Ms Slape said a sausage sizzle to raise money for Australian Seabird Rescue Ballina raised $104 after the clean-up event.