Clean Up Australia Day shows the best and the worst sides of the human race.
It clearly displays how humans can work together to make their region a better place for others to live in.
Yet it also shows how little regard some people have for caring for the environment in which they and others live.
Take Mount Keira for example.
The jewel in the Illawarra’s crown, worthy of great respect care from all.
Yet on the summit volunteers from the Rotary Club of Wollongong found a couple of dump sites where people had deliberately offloaded their trash.
One site included a heap of work safety gear, bits of unwanted machinery, gumboots, a used fire pot, plastic and various other rubbish.
Another site consisted of a pile of unwanted barbecue rubbish and a number of soiled, festering dirty nappies. Just gross.
You can see the “before and after shots” on illawarramercury.com.au.
Unfortunately, 28 years after it started, Clean Up Australia Day is still as needed as much as it ever was.
During last week’s various Clean Up Australia Day events it is estimated some 580,000 volunteers got their hands dirty cleaning up the parks, waterways, beaches, bushland and roadways that are important to them at more than 7253 locations across Australia.
In speaking on the success of this year’s event, Clean Up Day founder Ian Kiernan urged people to make every day Clean Up Australia Day.
“It’s really great to see so many people passionate about removing rubbish from the places that are important to them,”Mr Kiernan said.
“Because that’s the beauty of a Clean Up – people tell us where the rubbish is accumulating and we give them the support to make a difference.
“But we need to do much more than just pick up rubbish one day a year. Every day is Clean Up Australia Day - so let today simply be the start of your Clean Up journey.
“Making a real difference starts with looking more closely at our personal purchasing behaviour, becoming conscious of the single use products, packaging and plastics that we buy and then discard.”
Let’s look after our beautiful region not for one day a year, but every day and hopefully one day we may never need a “Clean Up Australia Day”.