Cleanup Diary: 14 June 2010

The Living Lamma cleanups began one Monday morning in June 2010…

Rubbish left behind on the rocks and in the bushes

14th June 2010: In which Max and Mummy start to clean up one of the places they like to go on Lamma…

Max with his first bag of rubbish, all taken from the rocks

Max and Mummy had been out to the pagoda (the one you can see from the YSW ferry) and were appalled by the amount of rubbish

they found there. The pagoda itself was like an ashtray, with so many cigarette butts on the floor. There were empty cigarette packs, beer cans, plastic bottles and a smashed glass bottle on the rocks and in the undergrowth around the pagoda.

Ironically, the people who left them there were clearly concerned about hand hygiene as there were also a number of hand wipes and the plastic packets they came in lying around. And all this rubbish was scattered just a short distance from the rubbish bin.

Talking about it afterwards, Max and Mummy decided they would try to do something about this rubbish, so on Monday morning they went back with gloves and a plastic bag. They got a whole bag of rubbish just from the rocks and picked up more than 40 cigarette butts from inside the pagoda.

The rubbish left behind tells a story about the people who had been there. On this occasion, a man and a woman had been there together. The women smoked Capri cigarettes and drank a Vodka Smirnoff. The man smoked Captain cigarettes and drank Skol lager. He was a small man, judging by the choice of condoms (thankfully only the wrappers were left behind – though no doubt the contents will wash up on one of the beaches sometime).

21st June 2010: In which Max and Mummy clean up the rocks and find a sad crab…

Max with his second bag of rubbish

There was still a lot of rubbish on the rocks at the pagoda today. A fisherman had been there and left a can of grapefruit soda and some of his line behind. Two people had left behind their cup cake wrappers and a plastic candleholder. It a beautiful spot to fish or celebrate a birthday, so why do people spoil it by leaving their rubbish behind?

Max and Mummy found a can on the rocks that had fallen down a crevice. The can had black stinky water in it – it had been used as an ashtray – and a very sad looking, dead, baby crab.

Now at least the rocks are clean – save for a few cans and bottle that Max and Mummy couldn’t reach. Next time they’ll bring something to get those. They started pulling plastic bottles and cans out of the undergrowth around the pagoda, but the grass is very long and Mummy is worried about snakes and centipedes, so they’ll find a way to do that next time too.

Max with his new friend

28 June 2010: In which Max and Mummy clean up around the pagoda and make a friend…

Hurrah! Hurrah! There is no new rubbish on the rocks. Granted there has been torrential rain for the last 48 hours, so probably no one has come here, but the place looks lovely…..until you look into the bushes next to the pagoda.

The good news was that someone had been to cut the grass. The bad news was that this exposed all manner of rubbish. Luckily, Mummy had brought a screwdriver so that she could reach a few cans and bottles that had been lodged between the rocks and it was just the tool they needed to get things out of the undergrowth.

They had just pulled out a small mountain of trash (Max spotting what needed to be picked up, Mummy going into the bush and mumbling something about hating spiders) when along came the cleaning lady. She was very happy to see Max and Mummy and very quickly started to fill up her big black plastic bag with all the things Max and Mummy had collected.

The screwdriver wasn’t long enough to get everything and Kate (Max’s baby sister who helps by sitting in her pushchair and not making a fuss) was covered in mosquito bites, so Max and Mummy decided to do the rest next time and bring a better tool for the job.

Max with his tongs, the rubbish collected and his “treasure”

5 July 2010: In which Max and Mummy leave everything clean and see what the “pig family” had left behind…

Today Max and Mummy took with them a big long handled grabber, a medium-sized pair of tongs and a small pair of tongs – a tool for every occasion. They were really happy – no cigarette butts in the pagoda, no new cans or bottles on the rocks.

There was a polystyrene box that had been washed up and this was perfect for collecting the rubbish in. There was still quite a bit in the undergrowth, but now with all the new tools this was easy to get.

Now what do you see when you look over the pagoda wall? A nappy. A stinky, dirty nappy. Just a couple of metres from the bin. Now who could have left that there?

Max said perhaps it was the “pig family”.

The pig family are not particularly bad people, they are just a bit dirty and always leave their trash behind. Mummy pig must have changed baby pig’s nappy and then just thrown it over the pagoda wall (being pigs they are too lazy to put things in the bin).

The bad thing about the pig family is that they make places so dirty for everyone else. Junior pig sees his mummy throw the nappy on the ground and does the same with his lolly wrapper. He’s going to grow up to be an inconsiderate, lazy pig one day, just like his parents. Or will he? Max says he’s going to be saved by the superheroes, but that’s another story…

Look Mummy, a nappy!

Max and Mummy met Mrs. Hor, the cleaning lady, again and with her help and the use of the super-long grabber, they got things cleaned up in no time. Max found a fan – his “treasure” for the day

– which was very handy as it’s so hot.

Please help us with the next diary entry. Max and Mummy will be out of Hong Kong for the summer. It’s taken 4 weeks, but now the pagoda area is more or less rubbish free. We’d love someone to take over from us to make sure this spot stays nice until we come back. Our idea is that once the pagoda area is looking tidy, we’ll pick up things from the path and from the beach. We’d love people to come and help us when we get back too, or for you to pick a spot that you’d like to see tidy and share your experience with us.