Byron Shire Council workers begin the clean-up at Byron Bay's main beach on New Year's Day.
Byron Shire Council workers begin the clean-up at Byron Bay's main beach on New Year's Day. Kate O'Neill

Big crowd makes big mess

A BIG crowd makes for a big mess.

About 10 tonnes or 30 cubic metres of rubbish was left behind by the tens of thousands revellers who saw in the New Year at Byron Bay.

Champagne corks, empty bottles, food wrappers, papers and cigarette butts were littered all over the beach and throughout the CBD during the Saturday night celebrations.

By the time the sun rose, however, the bulk of it was gone, thanks to a clean-up team of almost 30 council workers who started at 4am and worked solidly for the next five hours to return the town to its pre-party state.

Split into groups, the workers targeted hotspots at Railway Park, Jonson St, the Main Beach car park and Apex Park at Main Beach throughout the morning.

Several council trucks and a street sweeper supported them.

One worker told The Northern Star the amount of rubbish left behind was "atrocious".

"You should have seen it earlier," he said.

Main Beach car park had been covered in bottles and it was hard to believe the lack of respect visitors showed to the town, he said.

Another council employee said it was no worse than previous years, and much better than "the bad old days".

"I was doing it when they used to block the whole town off," he said.

"We'd be still cleaning until 11am back then."

Veda Turner of Byron Bay's Green and Clean Awareness Team, said he had not ventured into town yesterday morning, but found Clarks Beach to be reasonably clean when he went for a swim.

People having car parties and leaving bottles and rubbish around their vehicles was the biggest problem at that end of the beach, he said.

Meanwhile, thousands of New Year's revellers spent yesterday recovering in Byron Bay cafes and on the beach, many opting for an early morning swim or a greasy breakfast to soothe their sore heads.

Those the Northern Star spoke to said the atmosphere in town on New Year's Eve had been great with very little aggression in the streets or in pubs and clubs.

The first fireworks display in many years, organised by Byron Bay's chamber of commerce, Byron United, was described as "fantastic".



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