Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the friendly people who had joined Tatura’s Ross Musolino for the bi-annual Transition Tatura roadside clean-up.
While I was extremely impressed by the 13 people who gave up their Saturday morning to pick up rubbish and work to keep their town tidy — I was equally unimpressed by just how much rubbish had accumulated in the past six months.
When speaking with Ross to put together a story for the Tatura Guardian I had to stop him in his tracks to clarify they had done the exact same thing, on the exact same strip of road, just six months ago.
Looking at the rubbish I would have thought it had not been done for at least two or three years.
And Ross and his team were not the only ones who had been out and about picking up after others.
Even on my way to work this week I saw a woman who had pulled up at the railway between Mooroopna and Shepparton who was at it, just after 8am.
While I applaud anyone who would so willingly go to lengths of spending hours to pick up rubbish along the roadside, I feel it is an issue that is completely uncalled for.
From a very young age, children are taught not to litter. Whether that comes from their parents, school, friends or all of the above, most children have a clear understanding that littering is wrong.
My question is, if children as young as two know to put their rubbish in the bin, why can’t grown adults do it?
There is no excuse.
It comes down to pure laziness and it’s not good enough.
If you don’t do it in your home, don’t do it anywhere else. I imagine that people have enough respect for their own space that they would not often drop banana peels or the last bit of their sloppy wrap on their lounge floor for someone else to pick up, therefore we need to approach our land of Greater Shepparton in the same way.
Just as we like to have a neat and tidy home before the visitors come around, we should be wanting the same for our town — and having rubbish lining the roadside is an issue which needs to be dealt with.
With the amounts of rubbish picked up by Ross and his team last month, it is clear to me that it’s not just a handful of people who are causing the problem.
Not only is our land of Greater Shepparton being devalued by having this rubbish dumped anywhere and everywhere, but it is shaping the future for the younger generations.
If we cannot look after our land then what do we expect of the next generation?
When I think back to my primary school years, in comparison to now I would be fairly confident to say the amount of rubbish littered on a daily basis has increased by at least 100 per cent.
Like anything, people do what they see other people do. Now is the time to make the change.
It’s not a hard task to find a bin or take your rubbish with you.
Littering from cars has become especially common, so I encourage you, if you see someone littering from their car window, take their registration number and report them by contacting the Environment Protection Authority Victoria on 1300372842.
Laura Briggs is a journalist at The News.