Showing the floating plastic carpet on the Cooks River at Tempe Reserve. I gasped when I saw this photo. The area covered in floating garbage is really large. Earlier the road was also covered in flood water. Photo taken by Valentina Mickovska with thanks.

Local resident Valentina Mickovska kindly allowed me to post her amazing photo of the carpet of plastic bottles & other items of plastic floating on the Cooks River at Tempe Reserve.  The photo was taken early yesterday when the Cooks River flooded.

Undoubtedly, much of the masses of garbage trapped in the rocks that surround Tempe Reserve were dislodged in the flood, but I also think that this floating mess could have added to via stormwater drains.  This photo clearly shows the need for a floating collection boom in this area to stop this kind of litter from fully entering the Cooks River ecosystem.

I have been surprised to see just how many stormwater drains enter the Cooks River without any means of collecting garbage attached to them.  In my opinion, no stormwater drain should be allowed to empty into the river without a collection devise that prevents plastic bottles, plastic bags & other litter from being flushed into the river uncontested.  Not just in Marrickville LGA, but also in all the Councils lucky enough to have the Cooks River flowing through their municipality.

Making this change should not be too costly for the Councils to implement.  The collection booms would go a long way in supporting both the Councils & the community’s ongoing attempts to clean up the river.  Preventing stormwater litter from entering the Cooks River would also have an immense benefit for local wildlife that live & feed on the river.

We also need a bottle return program because people are less likely to litter when they can get money for returning the bottle.

The same area of the Cooks River on a good day. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful place in Marrickville LGA.

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