Home About Contact FAQ Search Submit

Clean Up Australia calls on communities not to forget our regional neighbours

Media Release - 8 February 2011

Download the 2010 Rubbish Report PDF (9mb) 

As the annual Clean Up Day approaches, Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman and founder of Clean Up Australia was in Ballarat today, calling on communities to come together on 6 March to by focusing on flood affected areas.

Repeated floods across regional Victoria have taken their toll. But despite damaged crops, roads, vegetation, homes and businesses, the deluge has not dented the spirit or resilience of the community.

Flood-ravaged parts of the state experienced a new round of rising waters over the past weekend as post-Cyclone Yasi storms brewed. Preparation through positive community spirit and local government action helped residents hold their heads high.

As Ian Kiernan noted; “The first priority after a flood is your own backyard. Local government and state authorities across Victoria have been quick to provide first stage relief and support – the organisation of which has been truly impressive,

“In the true spirit of volunteering, neighbours have already banded together to help one another – stories of remarkable and often anonymous mate-ship are emerging every day.”

“But as the waters recede, the cameras disappear and the focus of those of us not directly affected wanes, it will be left to the locals to work on the parks, bushland, rivers and creeks where flood debris has accumulated.

Recognising the commitment and spirit of volunteers in regional Victoria, Ian Kiernan stated “Clean Up Australia Day would not be possible without the amazing volunteers working to clean up their own local areas. It is vital that we continue to tap into this great effort by registering for this year.”
“In 2011,I urge all Victorians not to forget regional communities over the coming weeks. On 6 March, let’s band together to clean up flood debris and support those in need. “

In 2010 an estimated 111,488 volunteers removed around 2,977 tonnes of rubbish from 1353 registered Clean Up sites across the state.

Kiernan noted, “Last year’s Rubbish Report surveys showed us that disposable items increased by 6% in 2010. This is unacceptable, and we need to take action to protect the areas that are being degraded the most – our parks and waterways. Through community effort we can help get communities across regional Victoria back on their feet. It is now more important than ever for every one of us to do our bit to on Sunday 6 March”

The 2010 Rubbish Report revealed that plastic remained the predominant form of rubbish across Victoria for the 16th year in a row; with 27% of all rubbish items removed being some form of this material. Its long lasting persistence (plastic bags can last up to 450 years in salt water) makes plastic one of the most destructive forms of waste in Australia.

Clean Up Australia Day began when founder Ian Kiernan was shocked by the amount of waste he encountered while sailing the world’s oceans. Preventing rubbish from entering waterways is still a key goal of Clean Up Australia Day, and Clean Up urges Victorian residents to do their bit by registering for 2011.

In 2010 an estimated 588,000 volunteers removed around 15,560 tonnes of rubbish from 7,073 registered Clean Up sites, making the 20th Clean Up Australia Day the largest community participation event in the country.

Simply go to www.cleanupaustraliaday.com.au or call 1800 CUA DAY.


  1. Cigarette butts
  2. Small paper                     
  3. Alcoholic beverage bottles
  4. Bottle caps
  5. Chips and confectionary


  1. Beach/coastal
  2. School grounds
  3. River/creek
  4. Parks
  5. Bushland


  1. Plastic
  2. Miscellaneous
  3. Metal/aluminium
  4. Glass
  5. Paper

Other VIC results:
Fact 1 – Victoria generates roughly 10 million tonnes of waste every year, of which 38% goes to landfill .

Fact 2 – Glass waste was more common in Victoria, with 16% of the rubbish found being glass compared to a national average of 10%.

Fact 3 – Plastic waste was less common in Victoria, with 27% of the rubbish found being plastic compared to a national average of 32%.  This was a slight decrease from 2009 when plastic accounted for 28%.

Fact 4 – Beach and coastal areas were the most polluted sites surveyed in Victoria with on average 564 items of rubbish found per site.  This was a decrease from last year when 805 rubbish items were found on average at these sites.

Fact 5 – Cigarette butts accounted for 27% of rubbish collect from sites around Victoria.  This was an increase from 2009 when cigarette butts accounted for 13% of rubbish found.

Fact 6 – If container deposit legislation was introduced in Victoria, the rubbish items collected could generate over $6,500 in revenue at 10c per item.

Fact 7 – Glass alcoholic beverage bottles accounted for 5% of the total amount of VIC rubbish collected, a decrease from 2009 when alcoholic bottles accounted for 10%.

National findings from Clean Up Australia 2010 Rubbish Report:

  • Plastics represent 40% of all rubbish found including pet drink bottles, bottle caps and lids plus chips/confectionery bags
  • There was a 6% increase in number of rubbish items found per surveyed site, equating to 124 items per square kilometres.
  • Outdoor transport sites had the highest density of rubbish of all sites surveyed, with 326 items per square kilometre. They had close to twice the waste density of shops/malls and 46 times more waste than public bushland
  • Cigarette butts were the most commonly found item for the 15th year in a row – 1 in 5 waste items removed in 2010 was a cigarette butt
  • Beach and coastal areas and rivers/creeks showed the significant waste density at 164 and 108 items per square kilometre respectively

Australia’s largest community participation event. Get a group together and register your chosen Clean Up Site online.

Clean Up Australia Day – Sunday 6 March
Business Clean Up Day – Tuesday 1 March
Schools Clean Up Day – Friday 4 March

Your local park, waterway, bus area, beach or street.

Everyone is welcome – friends, family, kids, community groups, work colleagues or anyone else.

Register for Clean Up Australia Day now at www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au or call 1800 CUA DAY for more information.


For any further media information or an interview, please contact:    
Monique Jones or Shadiyah Lim Taurus Marketing                                                              
Phone: +61 2 9415 4528 or +61 413 689 343                                                          
Email: monique@taurusmarketing.com.au / shadiyah@taurusmarketing.com.au