Brace for the big clean

Students Jacoba, Jahli and Rylee partake in last year''s event. 178301_02

Pakenham residents are urged to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty on Clean Up Australia Day.

The occasion has been thrust into the spotlight amid an increased prevalence of littering and illegal dumping across the region.

Five community groups are throwing their hat in the ring in Pakenham alone, and more than 15 are doing their part across Cardinia Shire.

Among those include the Lakeside Residents Group, Indian Association Casey Cardinia, Harcourts Pakenham and the Lakeside Scouts Group.

Volunteer Derrick Muir said that some groups have even scheduled their events on different days from the tradition 3 March, to allow those with commitments to partake in the initiative.

“We will be looking to clean up as much as we can, especially with how bad the dumping has been lately,” he said.

“It’s the first time I have been involved in the formal Clean Up Australia Day event, so it’s pretty unique for me.”

Last year almost 600,000 volunteers cleaned up 16,169 tonnes of rubbish at 7363 sites across Australia.

It is the first event since environmentalist and Clean Up Australia founder Ian Kiernan died.

Mr Kiernan passed away late last year, aged 78, after creating the initiative more than 30 years ago.

To find the destinations where you can participate, head to the Clean Up Australia Day website and enter your postcode.