An important message in a bottle
In June, the Northern Bendigo Landcare Group spent three hours picking up rubbish from a small stretch of Bendigo Creek between Howard Street, Epsom and Lean’s Road, Huntly.
More than 20 volunteers collected 440 kilograms of mostly lightweight plastic, glass and aluminum drink containers.
It was enough to fill three trailers and a ute.
“Given the type of rubbish that was collected, it’s clear most of it washed down the creek from
Bendigo’s streets,” North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Chair Julie Miller Markoff said.
“Bendigo Creek is a waterway that supplies water to irrigators further downstream and is an important cultural and environmental asset for the region.
“We have an obligation to our neighbours downstream, as well as ourselves, to keep Bendigo Creek clean and ensure the water in it remains healthy.”
The North Central CMA is working with school students in its River Detectives program, the City of Greater Bendigo, and RMIT to raise awareness about litter, how it enters the creek and where it goes.
Ms Miller Markoff and Mayor Margaret O’Rourke joined students at Golden Square on Tuesday to launch five special trackers into the creek.
“Ordinarily throwing plastic bottles into the creek is not recommended, but these ones will tell an important story,” Ms Miller Markoff said.
“Inside the bottles are GPS trackers, and the students will be able to map exactly where they end up. They will be able to see what happens to rubbish when it enters the creek.
“The River Detectives students will then showcase their results at an event in October, helping spread the word on how and why the creek needs to be protected.”
Cr O’Rourke said such projects were an important part of the Reimagining Bendigo Creek project.
“The City of Greater Bendigo is working closely with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, the North Central Catchment Management Authority, Coliban Water, state government departments and community representatives to create a shared vision and plan for the creek over the coming year,” she said.
“Projects such as these create awareness about the creek and remind us about how important it is to the city and to those who live downstream.”
The Litter Trackers project across the state is a collaborative project between RMIT University and Melbourne Water, supported by the Victorian Government