There is lots of enthusiasm for planning a community event to remove litter from the Merri Creek banks after rainfall.
This is fantastic and we encourage this activity, as long as people are following some simple safety precautions.
If you register your clean up event with the Friends of Merri Creek and adhere to our Occupational Health & Safety processes, a number of benefits are open to your event.
Final litter tally!
- your event being covered under our public liability insurance.
- promotion of your event.
- access to our clean up kit and other resources.
Don’t forget that Friends of Merri Creek organise monthly litter pickups during the year, advertised on our Events calendar and our Facebook page. All ages are welcome to join us (children need to be supervised).
If you would like to organise your own community clean up event, there are just a few things we’d ask you to do:
1. Contact Friends of Merri Creek firstname.lastname@example.org or via our Facebook page. Provide details on your litter clean up event and we can help promote it to your local community.
2. Contact our “Rapid Response To Litter” project coordinator Julia Cirillo, if you’d like to borrow our litter clean up kit and advice on where to conduct your clean up event. Julia can help with the steps needed in registering your event under our public liability insurance to protect your volunteers. JuliaCirillo@mcmc.org.au; 9380 8199
3. Check weather conditions. If there has been a major rain event, water can still rise a few days afterwards.
4. Never collect litter in the creek itself – stick to the banks and warn participants that the banks get slippery after rain.
5. Encourage participants to bring gloves, wear sunscreen, sensible clothes (hat, trousers, long sleeves, waterproof) and sturdy, covered footwear.
6. Be safe!! Vegetation along creek banks can’t always be walked through – look for hazards such as covered holes, fallen dead trees, slippery rocks, steep banks, blackberry patches and snakes. Use our site safety assessment sheet (available from Julia) to check if the site you have picked is safe or ways to make it safer. Ask Julia for sites that are appropriate for a community clean up.
7. Have a sign in sheet to record your participants. Contact Julia for a template and Julia can also arrange an online sign in form so you can get participants to sign in via your tablet at site or on participant’s smart phone.
8. Friends of Merri Creek encourage recycling of any uncontaminated litter especially clean plastic bottles. To recycle, you need to separate the recyclables from the other litter and organise members of your clean-up crew to take them home to their own bins to recycle. Bring along plastic or reusable clean up bags – to sort your collection and keep separate bags for recycling and waste. To learn what can and can’t be recycled visit your local council’s recycling page. Julia has extra bags if needed.
9. Call your local Council to arrange pick up of your collected litter.
10. After your litter event, provide Julia with a quick report back to let us know what you collected. This means we can keep track of litter activity along the creek and it helps work in with the Rapid Response project. We provide data to the Tangoerea Blue project who have an Australian Wide database. Contact Julia for a litter data form.
Contact details: Julia Cirillo – JuliaCirillo@mcmc.org.au; 9380 8199.