Divers' disgust at Lady Bay rubbish dump

A WARRNAMBOOL diver has expressed her disgust at the amount of rubbish collected from the Lady Bay ocean floor on Sunday.

Daktari Surf & Dive owner and Warrnambool Sub Aqua Club member Sharene Collett was one of 12 divers taking part in Clean Up Warrnambool Weekend.

Ms Collett said along the breakwater wall, where anglers often sat, was “disgusting”.

“It is littered with bottles, cans of drinks, fishing line and just trash. So much so we’re going to have to go back and do it again. We ran out of air and time,” Ms Collett said.

She said divers had been taking part in the clean-up for the past seven years and it was worse than ever.

“Eight helpers were from Deakin University studying marine biology on exchange from America.

“They were absolutely disgusted — they couldn’t believe on such a beautiful unique part of the coast our fisherman would be so lax to not take their rubbish with them.”

However, under the new pier along the wall there was hardly any rubbish at all, Ms Collett said.

“It was absolutely beautiful.”

Warrnambool City Council waste minimisation officer Kate McInnes said the rubbish collected on land was less than last year.

“We collected 10 cubic metres and probably a quarter of that was recycling,” Ms McInnes said.

“It’s probably a bit less than previous years, which is a good thing.”

Thirty participants registered at Viaduct Road and 20 community groups helped to cover off the usual areas of the Merri River, the Hopkins River and Russells Creek.

Ms McInnes said the collected waste was mainly plastic and foil wrappers. 

“I think given that we live in a such a beautiful, windy city, a lot of the time it’s not meant to be litter. Unless things are put in bins really carefully it’s easy for things to fly out.”

She suggested residents take more care in securing rubbish in their bins when putting them out for collection. 

“Putting your recycling bin out is a great thing but if it ends up on the street, then the storm water, then the rivers and the ocean — it’s all for nothing.”

Ms McInnes also collected an estimated 1000 cigarette butts along Viaduct Road. “There’s the litter aspects of cigarette butts and the fire aspect.”

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