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Byron Shire
March 3, 2024

Lismore’s rubbish Scavenge to clean up the river

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Mayor Vanessa Ekins and Philippe Dupuy found plenty of rubbish during the scavenge hunt in Lismore on Saturday. Photo David Lowe.

On the weekend dozens of scavengers were searching along the river in Lismore looking for junk.

The Spring into Scavenge community clean-up, clothes swap and waste education event saw the riparian area come up spick ‘n’ span at Riverside Park last Saturday.

Aunty Thelma James Welcomed everyone to the river Country before she and her grandson went looking for rubbish. Photo David Lowe.

Mayor Vanessa Ekins was just one of the scavengers at the event. Ms Ekins said everyone was enthusiastic and playful. ‘The young people were happy and running around looking for rubbish in the sunshine.’

Vanessa said that it was an excellent setup. ‘I picked up six kilos of rubbish, some of it things people had just dumped out of their car windows.

‘It was good to get down to riverbanks, my favourite place, and have people gathering on a beautiful afternoon – there were lots of happy young people getting exercise and enjoying the fresh air with their friends.

Local organiser Luke Stone said it was a wonderful day on the river. Photo David Lowe.

Event coordinator Luke Stone said there were smiles all around. ‘Whether it was from picking up the rubbish, being rewarded tokens for what they had collected or scavenging though our preloved pop-up market.

‘Aunty Thelma told us many stories in her wonderful Welcome to Country, then John Trapp and Tapestry Road played a delectable collection of covers and their own for those sorting and at the markets – the same music was transmitted through silent disco headphones kindly donated by north coast events for scavengers to enjoy while out on the hunt.

The event was powered by the SSU art installation – the solar power flower which is a standalone battery system with six solar panels. Photo David Lowe.

‘All of this was powered by the Southern Cross uni’s art installation. The solar power flower which is a standalone battery system with six solar panels arranged to look like a flower.

The event had 19 participants and 23 volunteers who collected a total landfill of 33.7kg and recycling of 10.3kg – with 39 bottles and cans found on the day.

Most of the rubbish collected would have most likely ended up in the waterway at some stage and Mator Ekins says as a Landcarer, she is used to diving into the shrubbery. ‘That’s where all the rubbish gets caught, which is another good reason for riparian vegetation along all our riverbanks.’

The ‘after’ shot. Photo David Lowe.

Photos David Lowe


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  1. Great work from a caring community. I would love to see this activity on a regular basis. Caring for our rivers is so vital for water quality.
    Another caring for country event coming up is “Bugs and Bass” on Sunday 28th at Boatharbour. We will be talking about water quality, plants, and most of all wonderful life giving bugs!


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