Next to ancient middens along the bank of the Mary River lie a plastic tray, glass bottle and a plastic lid, all looking very out of place.
“Rubbish like this just doesn’t belong in our rivers,” said Litter Ambassador Lindsay Titmarsh. “There is no excuse and we all have a responsibility to make sure empty containers like these don’t ever get let loose in the environment.”
Mr Titmarsh’s property, ‘Tandora’, is nestled between the Susan and Mary Rivers, within sight of River Heads. He has come to know the rivers, mangroves and their native inhabitants well in the 60 plus years he has called this property ‘home’.
“What really bothers me is that these plastic items never actually decompose,” he said. “We know that they just disintegrate into smaller and smaller pieces but they become a permanent part of the environment.”
Mr Titmarsh’s natural curiosity has led him accumulate extensive knowledge of mangrove ecosystems, which he enjoys sharing with locals, and tourists from around the world. He said it is upsetting for nature-loving visitors to see litter washed up on the river’s edge in an otherwise pristine environment full of natural wonders.
“We pick up other people’s rubbish all the time because it literally washes up in our backyard,” he said. “I can’t imagine people think about that when they throw rubbish out a car window or drop bait bags out of a boat. I am certain people wouldn’t like it if I dropped rubbish back in their yard.”
Protecting the environment also means green waste such as lawn clippings, weeds, unwanted garden plants and prunings are kept out of bushland. A valuable resource when composted or mulched, green waste has no place in the bush where it becomes a source of weed infestations and smothers native plants.
On the Fraser Coast, rate payers pay approximately $150,000 per year to collect around three semi-trailer loads of litter and illegally dumped rubbish across the region – a substantial and unnecessary cost.
If you see household, garden or industrial waste being dumped in the bush, or rubbish being dropped or thrown from a vehicle or boat, you can report the incident to Fraser Coast 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.