Morale was through the roof at Wollongong's City Beach yesterday after a very satisfied bunch of Clean Up Australia Day volunteers packed up their gloves for the day.
More than 1000 ignored Wollongong's grey skies to take part in the annual clean-up at 30 locations between Helensburgh and Windang.
Piece by piece they binned about 10 tonnes worth of plastic bottles, chip bags and miscellaneous junk that is now no longer cluttering the region's beaches, bushland and waterways.
Wollongong City Council's environmental education co-ordinator Mike McKeon said it was disappointing to see so much rubbish being thoughtlessly discarded.
"Whatever we drop in the street ends up in streams and creeks and then into the ocean," he said.
"In the long run we're making our beaches look ugly and we're putting our wildlife at risk," he said.
Mr McKeon praised the dedication and enthusiasm of the many volunteers who gave up time over the weekend to make the city a more attractive place to live.
Although some locations were brimming with rubbish, Mr McKeon said there had been areas of improvement.
Puckey's Estate Reserve used to harbour up to four tonnes of waste - now just a few bag's worth are collected from the area.
Across Australia an estimated 550,300 volunteers took part in Clean Up Australia Day activities, removing an estimated 16,150 tonnes of rubbish.