What is HarbourCare?
HarbourCare supports volunteers concerned about pollution in Sydney Harbour and its effect on marine and bird life, and who volunteer to cleanup and remove rubbish from our many small beaches. (Also see the frequently asked questions below the map.)
Many people voluntarily pick up rubbish that they come across and Council recognises the important role they play in maintaining our local environment and keeping our harbour clean. The HarbourCare program formally supports this.
As an example, more than 4 tonnes of rubbish was collected from Berrys Bay in 2013.
To aid collecting rubbish, Council provides volunteers with safety equipment such as gloves, eye protection and other equipment as required. Volunteers are given work safety information so that they can avoid injury, but in the event of accidental injury they are covered by Council’s Public Liability Insurance.
Volunteers at one of these beaches. Some sites such as Lavender Bay or Sawmillers Reserve have minimal rubbish and a shopping bagful can be collected in a few minutes. Others, such as Berrys Bay and surrounds, may have 120 litres of rubbish and take an hour to clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can volunteer?
Anybody between the age of 18 and 90 will be covered by North Sydney Council’s insurance. Under 18s can take part, but should be supervised by a responsible adult. The initiative is ideally suited to people who take a daily walk, or dog walkers who can incorporate a clean-up on the way. Volunteers may work alone or with a partner or friend.
How often do volunteers have to work?
The time allocated to HarbourCare is entirely up to each volunteer. There are no scheduled times or days because beach pollution varies according to the weather and tides. Some sites need cleaning on a daily basis, while others can remain clean for more than a week at a time. Cleaning up is best done at low tide when more rubbish is exposed and access is easier. Any time a volunteer can give will make a difference.
Volunteers are asked to keep a simple record of how much they collect, the date and location. Data is important to evaluate the program and to attract government funding that can be used for programs to lessen the rubbish being discarded. Records should be forwarded at least twice a year.
How to volunteer
To become a volunteer, please complete and return the Volunteer Application form (96KB).
Council will send occasional emails to volunteers when necessary. Where several people are involved with one beach, a coordinator will be appointed who will be able to contact others and arrange a roster if desired. (There are plans for a group get-together once or twice a year, and an e-newsletter to which volunteers will be invited to contribute.)