Keeping it green

Flynn Chalmers, 9, Chelsey Cooper, Maryka Manatunga, Eddie Tichelaar and Geoff Meehan with e-waste.

By Casey Neill

 Keeping Montrose Green is more than a community priority – it’s a new project.

The Montrose Township Group launched the initiative on its Facebook page on 31 July, promising “weekly posts on useful tips, important information and superstar community members who are doing their part to keep our special place green”.

The group’s vice president, Chelsey Cooper, said Keeping Montrose Green was born out of two events.

“In our community consultation over the last year, Montrose’s natural environment has been a primary element that residents value and want to maintain,” she said.

“It feels bushy even though we’re so close to suburbia.

“We want to keep it that way. It’s really important.

“We want to be active in maintaining that community feel.”

Ms Cooper said the other driver was the recycling and waste management crisis.

The group is hearing that people feel hopeless.

“We want to share accurate information about what we can do, as community, to waste less and recycle right,” she said.

The group will seek information from Yarra Ranges Council and highlight community members and businesses doing the right thing.

They plan to have a different environmentally-minded theme for each monthly Montrose Community Market, starting with an e-waste drive on 17 August from 9am to 1pm.

The State Government banned e-waste in household rubbish bins from 1 July.

“This is our opportunity to inform people,” Ms Cooper said.

“This is our chance to say ‘this is what e-waste is, this is what we can now do with it’.

“People can bring anything the size of a microwave or smaller to us at The Cottage at The Montrose Towns Centre and we will take it to the Coldstream Transfer Station for them.”

Montrose Fire Brigade will also collect old car batteries on the day.

Montrose CFA community safety co-ordinator Eddie Tichelaar said 600 firefighters would climb the Crown Metropol Hotel’s 28 floors wearing 25 kilograms of turnout gear on Saturday 7 September to step up to fight depression, PTSI and suicide.

He said car batteries donated to the brigade before the event would raise money for this cause.

Montrose Primary School student Flynn Chalmers, 9, is among the Keeping Montrose Green supporters.

A trip to Phillip Island sparked his interest in helping the environment.

“I saw heaps of rubbish on the beach,” he said.

Research led him to a class presentation about nurdles, or microplastics, and the damage they were doing to the environment.

“I don’t think anybody had heard of it before then,” he said.

Ms Cooper and her husband moved to Montrose about nine years ago, drawn partly because the town was so bushy.

But one of the main hooks, she said, was a feature in the Mail about the community came together to create the Montrose Community Playground.

It was a community they wanted to be part of.

Ms Cooper said the group’s Facebook page was best way to get involved,

Send a message to the Montrose CFA Facebook page or call Fiona on 0431 228 230 to donate batteries.

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