Candace Colaco was sick and tired of seeing rubbish on the side of the road, so she started her own project to clean Brimbank’s streets. She spoke with Tate Papworth.

What’s your connection to Brimbank?
I’ve been a resident here my whole life. I lived in Sydenham as a child and then we moved to Taylors Lakes. It’s all familiar to me – the people, the neighbours, the parks. It’s part of who I am.

What do you like best about the area?
I love the community feel. We have such a great community and I feel like I’ve been able to know more of it in recent times. Getting to know the mayor and council has been great, it’s nice to know there’s others out there that think the same as you and are always there to help out.

What could be improved?
I think we could get youth more involved with the council. I’m not talking about the really young ones, I know there’s programs for them, but for teens and young adults. I think it would really help make people more aware about what’s going on in the community.

Tell us about the Little Litter Project?
It’s a not for profit organisation. I started to raise awareness about litter and waste management. It’s about letting people know how they can reduce their waste.

How’s the organisation grown over the past year?
I think the issue itself has become a bigger thing. We’ve just seen the ban on single use plastic bags come in and we’ve had more people take notice of the issue since the waste management crisis. For me, I’ve slowly started talking to schools, so I’ll be doing some talks very soon and instead of doing solo cleanups, I’ve started organising group events with different age groups.

And you were recently recognised at the We Are Brimbank Awards?
It was such a great thing to receive an honourable mention in the environment and sustainability category. It was amazing to get to know the council a bit and to get to go to the Transforming Brimbank launch at Parliament House. I got to meet politicians and other members of the community and really expand my network. After doing so much research on the council and other waste management strategies, working for the council is something I’d really love to do.