Volunteers ready to clean up Rose Bay Beach as part of the Corporate Clean Up Day Challenge

Conservation Volunteers Celebrates National Recycling Week with a Corporate Clean Up Day Challenge at Rose Bay Beach

Rose Bay Beach located in the heart of Sydney has benefited from the removal of unwanted litter in celebration of National Recycling Week. The Sydney corporate community participated in a corporate clean up day challenge, enjoying some healthy competition with four teams competing against each other to collect, sort and record as much micro litter as possible in a two-hour period.

The November 16 event was mirrored across Australian and New Zealand with 18 teams participating in the challenge. Together challenge volunteers collected and sorted 20,962 items of litter, and whilst we had a focus on micro litter this equated to a hefty 574 kg of waste.

Congratulations to the winning teams; Origin Foundation in Melbourne, Veolia in Adelaide, Arcadis in Brisbane, Apple in Sydney, Chevron in Perth and Lion in Auckland.  We also had teams competing from AMP, Aon, Holcim, HSBC, Woodside & Sumitomo.

Danielle Johnson, National Corporate Partnerships Manager at Conservation Volunteers said, “We wanted to provide a unique opportunity for business to come together and do something good for the environment and their communities.  At the same time, volunteers really enjoy a day out with their colleagues and meeting people from other organisations and industries.  We were really pleased to have had so much interest from our corporate community and are delighted to see the impact we have made across all of our challenge sites.”

Scott Appleton, Regional Manager at Conservation Volunteers was excited to be holding this years’ Sydney event at Rose Bay Beach. “Not only does this area have incredible views of Sydney Harbour, it is also home to significant seagrass meadows. The clean-up challenge has provided a cleaner and healthy habitat for our invertebrates, fish and a multitude of other marine species to flourish.”

A volunteer helps clean up Pipemaker Park in Melbourne

A volunteer helps clean up Pipemakers Park in Melbourne

On the day teams earned points for every piece of litter collected, with additional points awarded for unusual items. Extra points were also allocated for every cigarette butt or related packaging to raise awareness for a cigarette waste recycling solution run by TerraCycle. The Cigarette Waste Zero Waste Box is a mobile collection box for cigarette filters, stubs, rolling paper, inner foil packaging, outer plastic packaging and ash. Cigarette waste, along with other ‘non-recyclable’ waste streams collected by TerraCycle is sorted, processed and pelletised into sustainable raw materials to use in the production of new products, like garden beds and playgrounds. TerraCycle’s innovative recycling solutions for ‘non-recyclable’ waste can be viewed on their website.

“The TerraCycle Australia team is proud to work in a city as clean and as vibrant as Sydney, surrounded by organisations and companies who are keen to make a positive impact on the local environment” said Liz Keen, Public Relations Manager, TerraCycle Australia & New Zealand. “We’re excited to have supported the Corporate Clean Up Challenge for National Recycling Week – and to see hundreds of cigarette butts removed from Rose Bay Beach for recycling!”

Importantly, the litter collected by the teams was sorted and recorded and this data will be added to a national database, providing invaluable information on where the litter originated from. This data can then be used to help develop strategies that reduce and eliminate waste for future generations.

Every day Conservation Volunteers makes a difference to the environment across Australia and New Zealand: planting trees, restoring wetlands, removing rubbish, improving habitat and ensuring native plants and animals continue to flourish, lending a helping hand to nature.

To find out about more volunteering opportunities visit our home page