Meander Valley Gazette

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Simon saves our scenery

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

Simon Williams of Weetah cleaning River Road

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DECEMBER 2015 | Joanne Eisemann

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“I AM JUST trying to take care of our local environment by picking up all the rubbish,” says Simon Williams when responding to the people who stop to ask him what he is doing.

“I managed to pick up every scrap of paper, plastic, bottle and can all the way from Deloraine to my back door,” adds the Weetah resident on his project to rid our country roads of rubbish.

Simon moved to Tasmania eighteen months ago for a simpler life away from big cities.

While travelling around the island state he began to notice just how much rubbish lined the roads.

“I just had to do something about it because it seemed like no-one was picking up any of the trash. And it was just getting worse and worse,” he laments.

A plan to begin tackling the issue hatched one morning when Simon drove to Deloraine. “I decided I’d walk all the way back to my house. I took a white Hessian bag and picked up all the rubbish on the left hand side of the road - everything I could possibly find all the way home - about 20 kilometres away.”

Then he pedalled back to Deloraine on his pushbike to pick up his car to fill it with rubbish from the small piles he had made along the way. It took him fifteen hours.

The next day he got up and did the same for the other side of the road.

Stored in his garage, the rubbish made an impressive pile. According to neighbour, Roger Davies, “it was huge”.

Roger goes on to say that the work Simon has done “is inspirational” and that he will be putting in more effort to keep his verge litter free.

Of the pile of he collected, Simon said “I was jumping up and down on it like Scrooge McDuck. One thing I noticed is that it is all recyclable stuff”.

Simon spent three days sorting it into glass, cans, paper and cardboard before taking three van loads to the tip. He found that 90% was recyclable.

“It was kind of frustrating as well because I did one side of the road and came to pick up my piles and I found that people had already had a few beers on the side of the road and just thrown their cans in the bush. I must have picked up thousands of cans. We live in the best place in Australia and still we are having this problem”

“One thing that would make a huge difference in Tasmania is if we could get ten cents a can return like South Australia,” he advocates. “You see five times less cans on the side of the road there.” Roger agrees: “Anything worth money doesn’t lie on the side of the road!”

Simon now has his eyes set on cleaning up the Lakes Road from Deloraine all the way to Hobart.

“I think it’s really important, our environment; it’s up to us. Locally, we all need to do our part.”

Simon welcome assistance. Anyone interested in joining in the collection can contact him on 0405 462 714.

 

[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores