Throughout our many travels within Australia, there is one thing that is quite apparent to us and boy does it infuriate us. That is people who think its acceptable to dump their rubbish. We have seen it ourselves, you pull up to a rest stop, free or low cost camp and there is rubbush strown throughout the bushes. The real question though is, what goes on in the mind of a litterer? Did they miss a phase during childhood? Do they not love the environment enough to want to make it a pleasant place to be for everyone? Seriously, how selfish are these individuals? What would a simple walk to a rubbish bin cost? An arm? A leg? Do they need us to give them an education? Well get out your pen and paper, be prepared for LoveYourTravels lesson 101 in Illegal Rubbish Dumping in Australia.
Rubbish Dumping is a hot topic on many camping forums and we know why imagine going on a camping trip with your friends and you have found a good spot to pitch your tent, camper or caravan. The place looks ideal and you start to unpack your stuff in readiness to settle in. Then you take a wander around the area to find toilet paper in the bushes with a stench that makes you want to vomit or you find your previous campers bags of rubbished stacked up in a pile. Frustrates you doesn’t it.
What constitutes illegal dumping?
Illegal dumping is littering or disposing rubbish in areas that are not permitted. The waste include cigarette butts, household rubbish, hard waste (think appliances, household furniture, mattresses etc.), building and renovation material, dog dropping, garden waste, snack wrappers, soda bottles and so on.
The problem with illegal rubbish dumping
- Risks and hazards – The dumped waste can be dangerous to people. Items such as broken glass, needles, medical waste and other substances such as asbestos are super dangerous and toxic to the people. A cut from a broken item may infect which could have devastating effects. Let’s not even talk about the needle stick injuries too!
- Environmental damage – water, land and air pollution are a consequence of illegal dumping. The non-biodegradable materials and chemicals affect both the water and the physical environment. The chemicals seep through the ground contaminating the groundwater and the soil. Further, they contribute to the spread of pests and weeds affecting wildlife and agriculture. Wild animals are prone to eating plastics which harm their health. The plastic wrappers can choke and suffocate marine life and birds.
- Fire hazard – That cigarette butt you thought you had “killed” by stepping on it is a potential fire hazard.
- Dumping can affect tourism in towns and diminishes property value – The awful smells emanating from dumps especially in forests and camping sites is enough to keep tourists away. Littered beaches are an eyesore that keeps everyone away. The value of property decreases markedly at the sighting of a dumpsite near it.
- Dumping attracts further dumping. We wont forget the time we went up some backroads in the outer suburbs of Geraldton and we found it to be dumping ground of Household Rubbish and Bodies of old cars.
How you can help prevent Rubbish Dumping
Set a good example to your family, friends and children. Teach others that its not acceptable to leave your rubbish behind or dump illegally in the bush or anywhere else for that matter. Have plastic bags in your car so you can keep it all together and when you find the nearest bin you dispose of it properly.
You will find that the vast majority of free or low cost camps in Australia, won’t have bins provided. It will be clearly signed upon entry that bins are not provided so ALWAYS take your rubbish with you. We also carry a 4×4 Tough Off Road Spare Wheel Carrier so we can store our rubbish in there when we are camping. You can pick up one of these at any good camping store.
What to do about Illegal Dumping & The Law in Australia
Australia is a beautiful country and loves its citizens and visitors. However, do not for a second think you will get away with illegal dumping. If your concerned if you see someone illegally dumping rubbish. You simply have two options, confront them and ask nicely for them to collect their items dumped and dispose of it properly, or if your not comfortable with that option just observe whats occurring if you have your phone on you, take video/photo footage.
To report those lazy individuals to the appropriate authorities. Refer below to each of Australian State Authorities to make contact with.
Victoria- Contact is the Environment Protection Authority of Victoria.
Western Australia- Contact the Government of Western Australia.
Northern Territory- Contact the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority.
New South Wales- Contact the NSW EPA.
Queensland- Contact the Queensland Government.
Tasmania – Contact the Environment Protection Authority of Tasmania.
Everyone has the right to report littering and illegal dumping, if you see something, say something.
The reality of what’s left behind after people go camping
Fellow bloggers, Mel & Brendan from All Around Oz recently visited Wyangala Dam in New South Wales. It should of been a fun day out for them, however it turned to disappointment and frustration pretty quickly. We highly recommend you watching their You Tube Video on Rubbish Dumping at Wyangala Dam as it reflects the reality of what people think is acceptable when they go camping. Please watch and share their video, this issue needs to be addressed.
Be mindful of the environment and the future of your children – while camping take your rubbish with you and dispose of it in a designated location. If you see a litterer or someone dumping rubbish. Report them!
Lets stick together to keep this great land of Oz beautiful!
End Of RANT!
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J. Shan'Trice - Fashionaire She
No, I completely agree. This type of filth is unsettling. Some people have no morals. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for commenting on this post! Yes, some people have no morals, its frustrating as hell! Thats why people need to spread the word and speak up 🙂