Clean Up Australia inspires and works with people to clean up, fix up and conserve our environment and below are just a few examples of how communities and individuals have been involved with Clean Up Australia Day.
Business Clean Up sites can vary greatly; some businesses use the day to Clean Up a local area, park, beach or creek whereas others use it as Clean Up their own office space and kick start environmental programs. Below are two very different examples of how businesses spent their Business Clean Up Day.
In 1999 Kyocera was looking to get involved in an entity that was supporting green initiatives - reducing land fill and reducing waste - and felt that Clean Up Australia presented a good opportunity to pursue those avenues. Since 2000, Kyocera sponsored and participated in Clean Up Australia for over 12 years.
Where do you conduct your Clean Ups?
The clean up project we get most excited about at Kyocera is our involvement at Brush Farm Park in Ryde. Over a five year period we eliminated the rubbish from this site and restored it to the beautiful community area it once was.
Brush Farm Park was a neglected piece of bush and due to the way the landscape falls away, was sadly a perfect tipping place where people could back up a truck and empty it. It had been used as an unofficial tip site for years. On one of our clean up days we collected 3 skip bins of rubbish, it was huge!
Over 5 years we removed all the rubbish and worked with horticulturists from Ryde Council to remove all the privet. Since this time Ryde Council has restored the heritage building on the site and it is an area now enjoyed by the local community.
What is the most unusual item you've come across?
I can't think of one particular item that's unusual but I've seen and cleaned up things like engine blocks, water heaters and every conceivable piece of rubbish people clean out of their households.
We did unearth a natural waterfall at Brush Farm Park one year which was pretty exciting. Once we cleared away all the rubbish there it was and that was quite an amazing thing to discover.
Anything else interesting?
It's been a very interesting journey with Clean Up and it's been a really positive thing, all our staff have greatly enjoyed the participation.
I'm a believer that actions speak louder than words, so it's one thing to sponsor something but it's quite another to get your hands dirty and actually physically do something. That's the sort of ‘can do' culture we value.
With great support from BIS management and partner suppliers on Business Clean Up Day 2011, the Qantas offices were transformed into a hive of activity. The day started with a visit from Ian Kiernan AO to motivate and encourage official volunteers and staff.
200-300 IT staff participated and they commenced by cleaning their own personal work space and then lending a hand to clean and de-clutter all communal areas.
From that day Qantas disposed / recycled:
The successes and hard work were celebrated at lunchtime with all staff invited to a pizza lunch. Staff were given awards for best effort and trivial prizes including the oldest thing found - documentation from 1963!
2010 Local Council Award prize is turning Waste 2 Resource
Sunshine Coast Council, recipient of the 2010 Local Council Award, received $5000 towards a community based environmental project. This award was generously donated by Veolia Environnement.
The Council has a well established waste education and engagement program called "Waste 2 Resource". Currently 11 schools are signed up for the Waste 2 Resource STARS Program, and 64 schools are engaged in the Waste 2 Resource Education Program.
Thanks to the award funds, the Council has been able to provide infrastructure for these schools in the form of Organics Caddies for the collection of organic waste for composting, worm farming or feeding to the school chickens. While the Council provides 240L yellow lidded wheelie bins for the collection of recycling for schools, the Clean Up Australia Day award funds have allowed Council to also provide schools with source separation for staffrooms and tuckshops in the form of "multisorts", slimline bins with colour coded lids more suitable than wheelie bins for confined situations.
In the first six months most schools have diverted approximately 25% of their waste stream. This diversion rate is continuing to grow as schools roll out the organics caddies and multisorts across more areas of the school. Council's vision is to support schools with infrastructure and training through the STARS program to ensure waste minimisation techniques are embedded in school curriculum to achieve long term goals.