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Angry couple moved to pick up rubbish left on beach

RESIDENTS have been left to clean up the mess after a sudden influx of beachgoers for the start of the school holidays left piles of discarded fast-food wrappers, bottles and cans throughout Manly.

Manly resident Jaimi-Lee Turner, 17, and her friend, Jarrod Westwood, 18, of Narrabeen, were walking past the beach on Monday afternoon and were horrified by the volume of garbage littering the area.

“I was heartbroken,” Jaimi-Lee said.

“We had plans to go somewhere and we were all dressed up, but I couldn’t just walk away from it.”

The pair took immediate action, sourcing garbage bags from a local restaurant and enlisting other passers-by for a spontaneous beach clean-up.

Mr Westwood said they spent several hours picking others’ rubbish off the beach, filling around a dozen large bags with the refuse.

“We were quite shocked, we thought tourists came here from everywhere because of the beautiful beach environment,” he said.

Manly Council general manager Henry Wong admitted Monday’s crowds had caught council staff off-guard.

“We certainly are aware of these seasonal issues, but yesterday was particularly bad, much worse than expected,” he said.

Mr Wong said the council was unable to mechanically sweep the beach for rubbish in the afternoon or evening due to people being on the sand, relying instead on hand collection and a strong public presence.

“We are activating our litter guards again, now that we are aware of the emerging problem, but at the end of the day, people need to behave responsibly,” he said.

Manly councillor Barbara Aird, who chairs the council’s waste committee, said more needed to be done to educate people about maintaining the beach environment.

“We go through he same thing every school holidays,” she said.

“We love to welcome visitors, but we don’t want our natural environment trashed.”

Source: The Manly Daily

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