Getting out of town and into the bush these school holidays is a wonderful way to relax and get away from your every-day world. It’s something Litter Ambassador Carl Moller likes to do as often as he can, be it bushwalking and birdwatching, canoeing or camping, and the last thing he wants to see is rubbish left by others.
“It makes no sense to go to a beautiful place with abundant wildlife and to leave litter behind,” he said. “You can count on it being there to spoil your next visit. The answer is as simple as ‘carry it in and carry it out’.”
“Keeping rubbish secure on a bush walk is usually easy with empty packets just going back into the backpack or cooler bag you brought them in,” said Mr Moller. “Managing rubbish on a camping trip presents a few more challenges though and requires some planning.”Mr Moller said that it is important not to assume there will be rubbish bins at the park or camp site. Having rubbish bins at remote locations is costly to manage and it is difficult to stop wildlife and vermin from raiding bins and spreading rubbish. “It is best all round if each person removes their own rubbish and disposes of it at home or at the next town in bins provided,” he said. “During a camping trip put rubbish in secure containers that animals can not scratch open or drag away.”
Thinking about how the empty containers will be disposed of can also help when planning what to take on the camping, bushwalking or 4WD adventure. Mr Moller suggests taking larger containers with water and food rather than many smaller containers and plastic bags, and to take most items in re-usable containers.
“Burying food scraps, bait bags and fish frames is not environmentally friendly or respectful of other visitors to the bush or beach,” he said. “You wouldn’t do that in your backyard, so don’t do it in places that other people visit to enjoy. Bin it – you know it’s right!”
Cigarette butts are commonly seen along bush tracks and represent a real danger to wildlife and if not extinguished, can start bushfires. Cigarette butts are very light and persist in the environment for at least 15 years. Dropping litter such as wrappers, butts and cans is illegal and penalties of over $240 apply for individual infringements.
If you see household, garden or industrial waste being dumped in the bush, or rubbish being dropped or thrown from a vehicle, you can report the incident to Bundaberg Regional Council.
The Taking the Lead on Litter! Project is supported by the Queensland Government’s Litter and Illegal Dumping Community and Industry Partnerships Program.
For more information about the BMRG’s Taking the Lead on Litter project, please contact Jacinta Jowett, Project Coordinator on (07) 4181 2999.