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Clean Up Crew’s Polystyrene Concerns

A clean up group co-ordinator is urging Wyndham residents to properly dispose of polystyrene, after volunteers cleaned about 35 waffle pods from the Werribee River in Manor Lakes.

Love Our Street 3030 co-oordinator Lisa Field said polystyrene is a difficult litter source as it is lightweight, breaks and crumbles at the slightest touch, blows easily in the wind, and seemed to have originated from nearby development sites.

“One of our dedicated volunteers was checking out some of the new estates and also that part of the Werribee River…and came across an incredible amount of polystyrene which had basically blown … into the dry riverbeds of the Werribee River,” she said.

“He then asked me I can come and help clean some of that up, it was really difficult terrain to walk down into that site, this is the part of the river that doesn’t have any shared trails on it.”

Despite being light enough to carry, Ms Field said the rugged terrain made it hard to clean up the waste and additional help needed to be sought.
“We managed to pull out about 10 ourselves, they’re big, like a metre by a metre…[and then] we and the river crew went and got about another 35 of them,” she said.

“We also can see that there’s still a lot of smaller pieces that we need to go back and pick up, I’m also worried that you can inhale it because it is so lightweight.

“It interferes with the water, which is affecting those small macro animals through to the bigger fish and platypus.”
Ms Field said residents should carefully dispose of polystyrene in their landfill bin, and if it doesn’t fit, should save it for a hard waste collection.

“We’re just building so quickly, so fast, and there is just no care, no one’s going to check these sites and I think that’s a real concern, we know that these houses are being built fast, there’s a lot of waste and litter that comes from building sites.”

Publication – Star Weekly – Wyndham