Streaky Bay resident has called for greater waste care

Rebecca Lee said her quest for clean streets and beaches was an uphill battle but a love of Streaky Bay was spurring her forward.

Ms Lee spends about five hours each week on roadsides and beaches cleaning up the rubbish left behind.

“I have been doing this for 22 years, a long time, but I have become vocal about it in the last year,” she said.

“I put my point out there so hopefully people stop throwing their rubbish out the window or the council takes an interest in the situation.

“I love the town and want to see it green and beautiful but it is getting dirtier.”

The 50-year-old said she was paid by her employer Martin Squire Electrical and Solar for two hours a week collecting rubbish.

She said she had originally approached the Streaky Bay District Council asking to be paid $15 an hour for two hours a week to show that the council had an interest in environmental issues but it did not show any.

“I was sent to the Department of Natural Resources and approached them but knew their funding was stretched.”

Ms Lee said in a region focused on attracting more tourists, there should be additional resources and rubbish services.

She said the council’s planned kerbside recycling collection would be a huge step forward.

“That would be fantastic and it should be mandatory everywhere,” she said.

“We used to have a pretty good recycling centre but about five years ago they said they would only take bottles and cans with the 10c deposit, and you used to have to take the recycling there so I’m not sure how much was ever done.

“Bins at local attractions would be great and perhaps signs like ‘take your rubbish with you’ – there is nothing which encourages people to do the right thing.”

The council’s chief executive officer Joy Hentschke said Ms Lee needed to go through the proper channels to address her concerns.

“If she wants to talk to elected members she can ask for a deputation and have 10 minutes at a meeting.

“The form is on the council’s website and is open to all community members.”

Ms Lee said attitudes needed to change.

“I love the town but a lot of people think others will do it and that it doesn’t affect them – I call it apathy.”

Ms Lee said she was also concerned about a recent council letter sent to residents about waste at Sceale Bay.

Ms Lee said she was not happy about the potential for a rate rise.

“We pay $180 for one bin collection and they are talking about raising it for extra service during tourist season but the people renting their houses out and making money should pay for the extra rubbish around,” Ms Lee said.