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Rain, Hail or Shine didn't stop Volunteers

Sydney, Sunday 5 March 2017: Australians have volunteered an astounding estimated 31 million hours over the years to Clean Up Australia Day proving that the event remains as relevant as it was when it started 26 years ago.

During a week of action over 566,000 volunteers have joined together to clean up their local parks, waterways, beaches, sporting fields, bushland and roadways at over 6,200 locations across Australia in all weather conditions.

Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman and Founder of Clean Up Australia, speaking from the 2017 Clean Up Day official site in Sydney, says that it’s always an amazing sight to see so many Australians passionate about removing the rubbish that others have so carelessly discarded.

“Seeing so many Australians willing to their hands dirty for Clean Up Australia Day always makes me proud to be an Australian,” said Mr Kiernan.

“But this week of action is only the beginning. Protecting our environment is about so much more than just collecting the rubbish that people discard. To make a real difference we need to look more closely at our personal purchasing behaviour and be more conscious of the single use products, packaging and plastics that we buy and then discard.”

The ever increasing presence of single-use packaging means we need to continue to challenge our governments to implement effective waste management and recycling programs to reduce the amount of wasted resource that ends up in our precious environment. Clean Up activities provide vital community led data and feedback that influences decision makers.”

Joining Ian Kiernan at the media conference to announce preliminary results from the week of action NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said, There’s a message in the bottle this Clean Up Australia Day, and that’s ‘look out drink container litter, the container deposit scheme is coming. 

“This is the last year Clean Up Australia Day volunteers will be sweeping our streets, parks and beaches of litter before a container deposit scheme helps clean our streets and creates an opportunity for regional charities and sporting organisations to raise money.”

Since the event started 27 years ago Australians have donated more than 32 million volunteer hours, removing the equivalent of 344 thousand ute loads of rubbish from over 171,000 sites across the country.

 “Once again I am overwhelmed by the passion and enthusiasm shown by all our volunteers. This is your Clean Up and every volunteer can be proud of our outstanding success.”

Results in progress predict volunteers will have removed around 14 thousand tonnes of rubbish over the last week - just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a tremendous effort in 2017. Around 80% of the rubbish removed each year would have been recyclable if it wasn’t left to deteriorate in the environment.

Clean Up Australia Day is made possible by support from all sectors of the community – government, councils, corporates, local business and most of all our volunteers who work tirelessly to hunt out and remove rubbish from our parks, beaches, waterways and road-sides.

 “While Clean Up Australia Day represents an amazing effort from everyone involved we need to treat every day like it’s Clean Up Day and take more responsibility for the rubbish we create every day of the year. “

Working with limited resources, Clean Up Australia is a not-for-profit NGO which relies on corporate sponsors and donors to supply funding and resources and will continue to provide free bags, gloves and other equipment for as long as it has the funds to do so.

Donations can be made online www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au by following the prompts or by texting CLEAN to 0437 371 371.

2017 Results in Progress @ 08:00 AM AEST Sunday 5 March 2017 [based on registered sites @ time 5 March 2017].


Registered sites

Estimated volunteer numbers*

Predicted rubbish tonnage

Australian Capital Territory




New South Wales




Northern Territory








South Australia












Western Australia




Estimated totals:




*Volunteer numbers and predicted rubbish tonnage are calculated based on End of Clean Up Reports received from 2016