For our fourth litter clean-up day, we headed to the realm of student housing and wandered the lawns of Menzies College. At first sight, it appeared to look very decent with mostly leaf litter on the ground. But looking more carefully and under all the leaves, the small pieces of plastics, styrofoam and many miscellaneous items were revealed (Figure 1). Strange and yet not so surprising pieces of litter including shoes, a piece of a chair, an old rug, socks, gum and metal were found near the student housing college.
Our team searched high (on trees) and low (below bushes) to unveil the many non-natural items that had masked and integrated themselves quite permanently into the environment. Litter was particularly difficult to pick up, as it had been shredded to tiny bits by what looked like lawn mowing activity. Thankfully, these items that would never have been removed from under the leaves and eventually seeped into the soil forever, were meticulously extracted by the awesome microbiology students at La Trobe!
Litter clean-up day #4 was held after submitting a formal Archibus request to have the Menzie's College green areas cleaned up. It is clear that only the litter busters team which is used to working with microscopic precision were able to fully clear out all the litter present on our campus. It's important to remember that the smallest pieces of litter still count as litter since they are the most easily integrated into our campus soil. Thus, the struggle for a cleaner, more earth and duck friendly campus continues!