Melbourne News and events

Clean up your suburb

Was out and about on Sunday.

It was Clean Up Australia Day. Not apparent that anybody was actually cleaning up, and I saw more scrap newspaper in the street than in quite some time.

I know they tend to concentrate on parks and beaches and so on, and often for bigger problems than litter. All the same, might be good to do a Clean Up Your Suburb day every so often.

Last week I picked up three milkshake cups dumped in the next street. That’s not just being careless, that’s deliberate littering, particularly when there was a bin just a few metres away in the park across the street. Like the slobs that put their shoes all over the seats on the train, it narks me a bit that people treat public spaces much worse than they treat their own homes.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “Clean up your suburb”

One year I took part in Clean Up Oz day.
90% of the litter we found was disgarded junk food containers, and most of this originated from one fast food company.
And guess who Clean Up day’s main sponsor (sorry, “founding partner”)is? see

Less publicity this year or just me? :( ….. happily participated last year and would have expected an email to participants or signs ….. only realised when I saw the sacks of refuse on my morning walk the day following…. what a shame.

Last year was amazed the number of drinking straws in the mangroves! Apparently they don’t break down.

Saw some women cleaning up a railway station carpark, surely the responsibility of the railway company. I tried to get involved last year, but it was too formalized and nothing appropriate for me. Like you, I do a bit when it strikes me. Pity Melbourne’s most prestigous non Catholic school attendees leave their 7/11 slurpee and the like containers on the trams. Obviously caring about enviroment belongs to the better government schools.

Am tempted to get in and do a bit of clearing where I walk but (!)…. in high school a girl kindly volunteered to get some water from a nearby creek on the way home from school. To look at in science class under microscopes. Not sure if she fell but her knee got some pond germs in and she was in hospital for months. I am loathe to have my own version….. registering formally with Clean Up Aust covers one for spraining an ankle or whatnot. Just my luck to get mangrove inflamitis or somesuch in my own time all trying to do a good deed.

This is a similar theme to what I teach my son, unashamedly lifted from the Father’s Day/Childrens Day defense: Every day is Clean Up Australia Day

If people didn’t chuck rubbish on the ground, we wouldn’t all have to volunteer to clean it up!

To Andrew: I think it’s partly this attitude of “surely the responsibility of …” that allows people to justify making the mess to start with.

Hey there,

I just stumbled across your website, as I’m doing some research on clean-up efforts like Clean Up Australia Day and Keep Australia Beautiful.

The first response to your post, from Roger, raises a relevant point. Would you mind passing on my email address to him if he left it?

I’d like to ask him a few questions over email, and perhaps include his responses in an article I’m writing for a local Sydney paper.

Thanks very much.


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