If you are out and about early on the weekends, you might have seen Judie Rumble walking along the side of the road picking up rubbish.
The lone rubbish collector is making a name for herself, walking along Fernhill Road, the Oxley Highway, Widderson Street, Hindman Street, Central Road and back along Lake Road removing all kinds of un-biodegradable rubbish.
Not quite a local, having been living in Port Macquarie for only a couple of years, she said she has been collecting rubbish since last August.
“I guess it started because I wanted to get out of the house a bit more as I am a carer and my partner was needing our car for work,” Judie said.
“I had to start walking everywhere and I was seeing all the rubbish left lying on the ground so I started dedicating a few hours a week to going around and picking the rubbish up in my local area.”
She said the local environmental and rubbish collecting groups do great work in their area but no one is picking up rubbish in the industrial area.
“Groups like the Friends of Kooloonbung Creek and the Coastal Warriors – Mid North Coast are fantastic groups doing lots of great things but I think rubbish collecting gets forgotten out where I live,” she said.
“Lake Road and the Oxley Highway connect a lot of people in town but not many take the time to think about where the rubbish goes.
“It is pretty crazy how much rubbish I come across.”
Judie also said that she sometimes mixes up her route and has been known to make her way down towards the Port Macquarie Base Hospital.
“I also have a route that goes down Fernhill Road and then on the Oxley Highway towards the hospital.”
Averaging around 10 hours of cleaning up time each weekend, Judie said she has come across her fair share of rubbish.
“The most common items I find include bottles, needles, drug paraphernalia, socks, L and P plates, underwear and fast food containers.
“I think people would be shocked if they actually knew how much I pick up every time I go out.
“Usually I come home with five or six huge bags of rubbish.”
She said she wishes people were more responsible with their rubbish.
“When I am collecting rubbish most cars give me a toot which is great but it would be good if people didn’t let their rubbish end up on the side of the road.
“Or even when people are out for a walk if people picked up some rubbish it would make a big difference.”