Doubling the bins along an extended section of Coogee Beach this summer has prevented more than 7.6 tonnes of rubbish potentially entering Cockburn’s coastal environment.
That’s equal to the weight of 50 Indian Ocean Bottlenose Dolphins!
Visitors to the 8km stretch of beach between North Coogee and Jervoise Bay Sailing Club at Woodman Point used 28 120 litre bins to triple the amount of rubbish collected during the peak summer period.
In 2019/20, 15 bins were installed as part of a successful trial along 2km of beach between Coogee Beach Surf Life Saving Club and the Omeo shipwreck stairs, netting more than 2.5 tonnes of rubbish.
City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said it was proof beach users would become accustomed to using bins to responsibly dispose of rubbish if they were provided, in an effort to keep our precious coastal environment free of harmful materials.
City of Cockburn Waste Education Coordinator Clare Courtauld said the bins were placed along the extended stretch of shoreline for an extra month, helping visitors responsibly dispose of their refuse for a longer period.
Among the most common items in the bins were disposable coffee cups and dog poo.
“Most single-use coffee cups are lined with plastic which means they cannot be recycled. We encourage cafes in Cockburn to join the Responsible Cafes opens in a new window
program to help reduce waste.
“This enables cafes to allow customers to bring their own reusables so that hot drinks can be served in a keep cup rather than a disposable. The program’s other initiatives include offering a BYO discount, charging a single-use cup levy, offering a cup library or cup swap system.”
Eight bins along Coogee and Woodman Point dog beaches netted more than 2.8 tonnes, comprising mainly dog poo, with each bin weighing an average of 15kgs! These were emptied between three and seven times a week, depending on extra collections during peak holiday periods.
Ms Courtauld said she visited the beach several times a week during summer and noticed an obvious reduction in the amount of full poo bags left on the beach, proving the bins’ popularity among dog owners.
The other most common items found in the beach bins were cans, bottles and soft plastics. Ms Courtauld hoped there would be a reduction in the amount of cans and bottles next summer once people were more familiar with the Containers for Change deposit scheme.
The beach bins are part of the City’s annual summer Clean Ocean Cockburn initiative which also includes the Clean Ocean Cuppas program.
This year it collected 98 one-litre buckets of rubbish, with consumers at six local participating cafes qualifying for a free cuppa, soft drink or ice cream in return for a bucket of rubbish collected from the beach.
All rubbish bucket collectors went into a draw to win a $100 voucher to the café of their choice with this year’s winner being Penny Graham and her family, of Coogee.
The bins were installed as part of a $5,000 Keep Australia Beautiful WA grant, which also enabled the City to increase the amount of bins and multilingual educational signage around popular fishing hots spots along the coast.
Penny Graham with her children (l-r) Hudson (9), Noelani (4), Lucy (10) and Levi (6) at Coogee Beach near their favourite cafe, the Surfing Lizard, a participant in Clean Ocean Cuppas.
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