Cleaning up is Wyse choice
YELLOW plastic bags full of rubbish have lined the sides of Shute Harbour Rd in Airlie Beach in recent days thanks to the efforts of a one-man rubbish warrior.
Aydan Wyse has been travelling around NSW and Queensland for the past eight months cleaning up roadsides wherever he visits.
Airlie Beach was the focus of his efforts this week.
His aim is simple. He just wants to leave a legacy for his sons Ky and Kann.
Mr Wyse started cleaning up in NSW's Clarence Valley while jogging.
"I noticed rubbish and would pick it up,” he said.
"I just haven't stopped. (Now) I pick a town and walk from town to town on the highways.”
Mr Wyse's efforts have not gone unnoticed in Airlie Beach with strangers stopping to provide him with food or drinks, or just to shake his hand and say thank you.
"Every time someone beeps their horn it lifts my spirits,” he said.
In just the short time the Whitsunday Times spent talking to him, a taxi driver, backpackers in a mini van, a man in a car, and another on a bicycle stopped to say thanks.
The 32-year-old said he has no set plans and relies on the kindness of strangers to get by.
He said when he receives donations he stays at backpacker hostels while other times people take him into their homes.
Mr Wyse said what he was doing had been "life changing”.
"Just the generosity of the communities. People welcome you in like you're their grandson or their kid,” he said.
"They just want to feed you and clothe you. It's overwhelming.”
Mr Wyse relies on community members to pick up the rubbish bags from the side of the road where he leaves them.
"We can all change the world. We can do it together,” he said.
In Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Regional Council has chipped in by picking up many of the bags and disposing of them.
Others have been collected by community members who just want to do their bit.
"Us, as consumers, we throw rubbish,” Mr Wyse said.
"If people don't want to pick up a bag, I just ask that they don't throw any more rubbish (onto the sides of roads).”
Mr Wyse said much of the rubbish he collects is found on "sneaky corners” or the crest of hills.
He estimates half of the rubbish he collects is thrown out of passing cars, while he believes the other half has most likely fallen off the back of vehicles.
When the Whitsunday Times caught up with him on Tuesday, Mr Wyse had already collected 75 bags of rubbish over three days.
After he makes it to Shute Harbour, he plans to clean up alongside the road between Airlie Beach and Proserpine.