The Wiglesworth waste files

Castlemaine’s Bill Wiglesworth is certainly not the only person calling for a container recycling desposit scheme in the state of Victoria.
But he may be the only man in the municipality to take it upon himself to clean up a 2.2km stretch of local highway – solo – and then methodically record every item of litter he found.
The retired school teacher took on his self-imposed project – picking up all manner of rubbish along a 2.2km stretch of the Pyrenees Highway between Elphinstone and Castlemaine – to add weight to his calls for Victoria to introduce a container deposit scheme in line with other states.
Bill undertook his big clean up effort last month, spending 23 hours over eight days collecting the roadside waste he found between McCays Reservoir Road and the Elphinstone CFA Adopt-A-Highway sign.
He filled 38 garbage bags with what he found and then, in the comfort of his own garage, Bill analysed his findings.
All up Bill’s collection included 2737 recyclable items including 871 beverage cans, 877 plastic beverage containers, 989 glass beverage bottles and a large quantity of fast food outlet waste including 31 McDonalds lids.
“I also found bongs and syringes,” Bill noted.
To Bill’s surprise, 43 of the beverage cans he found were pre-1985 pull top numbers including one vintage beer bottle with its pull top – and beer – still in place.
Encouraged by Mount Alexander Shire Council’s recent moves to help curb waste and find new uses for recyclables, Bill is now calling on the council to support his efforts to see a container deposit scheme introduced in Victoria. He is also lobbying state politicians.
“The 2737 recyclable items I found along the sides of the Pyrenees Highway show that voluntary recycling is not working well enough in Victoria,” Bill said.
“The other mainland states all have container recycling legislation in place. Victoria is the odd one out. Why are we avoiding a sensible solution to our littered roads? It does not make sense.”

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