TEAM EFFORT: From left back row - Ebony Battersby (Fitzroy Basin Association), Capricorn Coast Landcare Group and Envirolink Centre co-ordinator Sabrina Burke, Cr Andrea Friend, Southern Region Engagement and Reef Guardian Councils assistant director Rebecca Allen, Margie from Farnborough State School, with Farnborough State School students (LR): Front row - Alexandra, Tasmin and Michael; back ro
TEAM EFFORT: From left back row - Ebony Battersby (Fitzroy Basin Association), Capricorn Coast Landcare Group and Envirolink Centre co-ordinator Sabrina Burke, Cr Andrea Friend, Southern Region Engagement and Reef Guardian Councils assistant director Rebecca Allen, Margie from Farnborough State School, with Farnborough State School students (LR): Front row - Alexandra, Tasmin and Michael; back ro

DISGUSTING! 710 ciggie butts found in one Yeppoon drain

AN astonishing 710 discarded cigarette butts washed into one Yeppoon stormwater drain in a 12-week period.

And these are the faces of some of the kids trying to stop what's being dumped ending up on the Great Barrier Reef.

Year 6 students from Farnborough State School, which is a Reef Guardian School, were so enthusiastic after hearing about a combative initiative called the "drain buddy project", they fundraised $1000 to help.

A drain buddy is a heavy-duty basket placed in stormwater drains to collect matter including litter, organic matter and sediment.

Nine baskets were installed in Yeppoon's town centre mid last year, and they have been audited every 12 weeks by the Fitzroy Basin Association with support from stakeholder groups.

What was recovered during a recent audit of a drain on Anzac Parade nearest to James Street was truly disturbing.

As well as the 710 cigarette butts, auditors found 143 plastic film remnants, 56 straws, 118 pieces of confetti, 143 confectionary wrappers, a urinal diffuser, a hearing aid and a vomit bag.

Furthermore, drain buddy audits have revealed that cigarette butts account for 50 percent of litter in Yeppoon, Gladstone and Rockhampton, with the project saving 11,303 cigarette butts from washing down our drains and into the Great Barrier Reef since mid-2019.

Capricorn Coast Landcare Group and Envirolink Centre co-ordinator Sabrina Burke said an important part of this project was sharing the findings with the community, identifying commonly littered items and then tracing them back to the sources in a bid to prevent them getting there in the first place.

The fundraising efforts of the Farnborough students, which led to the purchase of two additional traps, earned praise from Livingstone councillor Andrea Friend who heads up the council's environment portfolio.

"This is an incredible effort and I highly commend them for their commitment to our environment," Cr Friend said.

"This indicates to me that our future is held in strong and capable hands."



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