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Locals Take Coogee Clean-up Into Their Own Hands

By Madeleine Gray on May 5, 2016 in News

Photo: Dan Hutton

Photo: Dan Hutton

In the Eastern Suburbs, we are incredibly lucky to have easy access to many of the world’s most charming bays and glistening waters. The problem is that when you’ve got a hot natural commodity like we do, litter and pollution come with the territory. Caught up in the majesty of sunburn, sausage sizzles and cold beers, people forget that the crap they leave on the shore will stay there until it is washed out to sea, or someone makes a conscious and concerted effort to pick it up.

Cameron Kite, a Coogee local and manager of Randwick restaurant The Spanish Fly, has become increasingly aware of this cognitive dissonance in beach-goers. As such, he and two fabulous backpackers who also work at the restaurant, Charlotte Warner and Dani Myers, have decided to get their hands dirty and clean the beach themselves.

On Saturday, March 12, Kite, Warner and Myers spent four hours attempting to clean as much rubbish as they could off Coogee beach. The result was startling. In that short time, over one thousand cigarette butts were picked up.

Mr Kite and his friends decided that this was not okay, and that more action was needed. They now plan to make the cleaning initiative “bigger each week”. Every Saturday at from 9am to 12pm, you can join these three legends in picking up rubbish and making the beach cleaner and safer for everyone. At around midday, all the rubbish collected will be displayed in boxes so that passers-by are reminded of what too often lies forgotten in the sand.

Mr Kite will also be using fun incentives to inspire others to volunteer their time. “We will be giving away free beer to the first 24 people to collect 20 pieces of rubbish and anyone after that will receive a voucher for a free beer at the Spanish Fly,” he said.

Local cleaning company Talk Dirty will also be donating discount vouchers – all electronically, of course, so that no excess rubbish is produced.

More innovations are in the pipeline. There is a Facebook page coming. There are hopes to turn rubbish into art. Signs will be placed at either end of the beach encouraging visitors to pick up two pieces of rubbish before they leave.

Mr Kite has also been in contact with Randwick City Council with an interesting request to help illustrate the local litter problem.

“I’ve asked that Council clean only half the beach and grass, to show people what it’s like when no one is picking up after them,” he said.

If this were the case, which side of the beach would you like to sit on? Exactly. Now head down to Coogee this weekend, get cleaning, and make the local beaches and bays a better place for everyone.