A total of 6.14 tonnes of rubbish has been removed from the shores of several Southern Moreton Bay islands in just four clean-up days by the community and volunteers from Ocean Crusaders.
Ocean Crusaders was a recipient of a Community Conservation grant under Redland City Council’s Community Grants program.
City Mayor Karen Williams said the grant enabled the educational not-for-profit organisation to carry out clean-up days on the island coastlines.
“Ocean Crusaders Foundation has a track record of cleaning beaches and islands to make wildlife safe, removing tonnes of debris in the process,” Cr Williams said.
“They worked with the community and volunteers to make these beaches cleaner and safer for birds and other coastal creatures that feed on the coastline.”
On the first of the trips, the crew removed 1.32 tonne of general trash and 440kg of tyres from around Garden Island. A further 1.44 tonne was collected on the second day from various southern Moreton Bay areas.
Russell Island was the target for the third trip with 1 tonne of trash and 29 tyres (580kg).
The final day of the project saw the volunteers working on the southern tip of Long Island foreshore, bringing in 1.36 tonne of debris.
Deputy Mayor Julie Talty said it was a staggering amount of debris collected by Ocean Crusaders.
“It is quite confronting when you see it come in on the boat,” said Cr Talty, who, along with Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards, met with volunteers at Weinam Creek boat ramp on Saturday when they came ashore with the results of the Long Island clean-up.
“Most of what has been collected is what has been washed out to the sea through mainland flooding over many years.
“The plastic bottles, tins and glass bottles are mostly more recent and have been thrown overboard by boaties.
“Plastic waste has a significant impact on our waterways, harming our naturally wonderful bay and creek environments.”
Cr Edwards praised Ocean Crusaders and their volunteers for the work they have done.
“They are cleaning up areas that are often out of sight and in mangrove areas,” Cr Edwards said.
“So they are really making a difference for wildlife in areas that otherwise may be overlooked.”
Ocean Crusaders founder and General Manager Ian Thomson said: “We’re cleaning up at the wrong end. It’s incredibly hard to clean where we are and it would be so much easier if we just stopped it at the shop by making smarter choices.”
Here are some waste disposal guides around some of the debris collected from island coastlines:
- Car tyres: Tyres can be recycled at Council’s Birkdale, Redland Bay, North Stradbroke Island, Macleay Island or Russell Island Recycling and Waste Centres. If you are a resident, there is no charge to dispose of up to four tyres (with rims or without) in one transaction.
- EPIRBs: These should never be placed in any bin. Valuable resources are diverted from real emergencies, searching for beacons that have accidentally activated in landfills. EPIRB batteries contain hazardous materials which should be disposed of properly. EPIRBs must be taken to your nearest battery store for disposal.
- Flares: Council’s Recycling and Waste Centres do not accept flares and must not be placed in any bin. Flares can be disposed of in special bins provided by the Queensland Department of Transport at Volunteer Marine Rescue (weekends only), Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and Queensland Transport Maritime Safety Queensland.
- Boats: Small boats/dingys less than 4m in length may be accepted at a Recyling and Waste Centre.