Illawarra McDonald’s licensee Katia Dwarte says she feels sad every time she sees some McDonald’s rubbish lying on the ground, having been discarded by a litterbug.
Mrs Dwarte is joining in Clean Up Australia Day this weekend, which she has done since it started in 1989.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery this week said the fast food industry should take more responsibility for the litter it produces.
Fast food packaging and single-use containers are among the most prominent rubbish left on beaches and roadsides.
Mrs Dwarte, who with husband Glenn has McDonald’s stores at Warilla, Shellharbour and Warrawong, said she found Cr Bradbery’s comments surprising as he had not spoken to her about the issue.
Asked if fast food owners had a special responsibility to reduce litter, flowing from their role in producing it, Ms Dwarte said rubbish was everyone’s responsibility.
“I think we should work on initiatives to bring home the message because I think the responsibility rests with everyone, the whole community,” she said.
“I think the first step to solving a problem is to acknowledge a problem exists in the first place, and to address it.
“Clean Up Australia Day does this by getting people involved and actually going out there and seeing what rubbish can do and where it ends up, and pick it up.”
Ms Dwarte said their stores printed anti-litter messages on packaging, and provided bins and signage on-site.
Mrs Dwarte said the clean-up would go ahead rain or shine, and if it’s raining volunteers could pick up free plastic ponchos at their McDonald’s stores.
For a searchable list of Clean Up Australia Day sites, see www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/join/
Clean Up Australia Day registration sites:
Saturday, March 4:
Purry Burry Point Primbee 9.30 – noon
Sunday, March 5:
Helensburgh Old Doctor Surgery, Parkes Street, 10 am – 1pm
Otford Tennis Courts, 9am – noon
Kelly’s Falls, Stanwell Tops (meet in carpark), 11am – 1pm
Coledale SLSC, 10am – 1pm
St James Park, Coledale, 10am – 2pm
Thirroul Beach, 9am –10am
Whartons Creek, Bulli (meet at bridge between Artis and Benelong streets), 9am – noon
Bellambi SLSC, 10am – 1pm
City Beach, Marine Drive, Wollongong, 9am – 1pm
Nan Tien Temple, Berkeley Road, Berkeley, 9.30am – 1pm
Berkeley Boat Ramp near fish market, 9am – 11am
Carpark, corner of Holborn and Sussex streets, Berkeley, 9am – 1pm
MM Beach (north end), Gloucester Boulevard, Port Kembla, 9am – noon
Primbee foreshore from Bundah Place to Heritage Park, 9.30am – 11.30am
Windang foreshore near playground and boat ramp, 30am – 11.30am
Horsley Community Centre, Bong Bong Road, Dapto, 9am – 1pm
McDonald’s Warilla, Woonona, Fairy Meadow, Wollongong, Figtree, Dapto, Shellharbour and Warrawong, 9am – 5pm