Don’t dump on the ACT this Easter break
30 March 2015
National litter-busting organisation Keep Australia Beautiful has joined forces with four wheel drive enthusiasts ahead of the Easter holidays to voice outrage at the illegal dumping of rubbish along Australia’s off-road tracks, bushland and camp grounds.
Keep Australia Beautiful Chief Executive officer Peter McLean said the Australian Capital Territory had the country’s third highest rate of illegal dumping and was urging holidaymakers to clean up their act.
“According to the KAB National Litter Index, the volume of illegally dumped litter in ACT (4.52 litres of litter per 1000m2 2013/14) is higher than the combined total of Tasmania and Victoria,” Mr McLean said.
“Illegally dumped items included chairs, desks, fish tanks, mattresses, heaters, carpet, computer monitors, BBQs and other household items.
“It is also extremely concerning that the volume of illegal dumping in ACT has increased from .83 litres in 2012/13, .62 litres in 2011/12, .21 litres in 2010/11 and .10 litres in 2009/10.
“Littering of any persuasion is a crime but illegal dumping is particularly offensive because it often occurs in and around bushland which is our country’s most precious natural asset.’’
The Australian National Four Wheel Drive Council has backed the holiday message and has called for illegal dumpers to be caught and punished.
Australian National Four Wheel Drive Council president Brian Hevey said 4WD clubs are frequently involved in clean up days, adopt-a-track programs, campsite clean ups and other similar campaigns around the country.
“Most State associations are already involved in some way in the Keep Australia Beautiful campaign and now here’s an opportunity for ACT 4WDers to chip in too,” Mr Hevey said.
“Four Wheel Drivers and their families enjoy the bush and nothing is more disheartening than coming across dumped rubbish, burnt-out vehicles or empty syringes when you reach your favourite camping, fishing or fossicking spot.
“People should be prepared to ‘dob in’ others who dump rubbish or damage our natural environment. Their bad behaviour spoils it for everyone!”
Mr McLean said it was shameful some Australians were using their own backyard as a dumping ground.
“It demonstrates a callous disregard for the environment and a total disrespect for the tens of thousands of Australians who value our pristine bushland with its unique animal and plant life,’’ Mr McLean said.
“A relaxing holiday is ruined if you have to fight your way through someone else’s trash to get to a special swimming hole or to pitch your tent.’’
A recent example of illegal dumping that went viral was posted to YouTube by a 4WD enthusiast showing piles of household furniture and other rubbish dumped in bushland near Newcastle in New South Wales.
Many of the people commenting on the video reported finding similar examples of illegal dumping along 4WD tracks and in bushland in their own states.
“It’s a national disgrace,’’ Mr McLean said.
“We are appealing to all Australians to leave nothing behind when they visit our beautiful bushland and beaches except their tyre tracks.’’
4WD enthusiasts and holidaymakers are being asked to report suspicious vehicles or if they see littering or illegal dumping take place at KAB’s Dob in a Litterer www.kab.org.au/dob-in-a-litterer/
For people who don’t know where to take their waste, local drop-off options to recycle a wide range of items including electronic waste, furniture and much more can be found at www.recyclingnearyou.com.au
Volume of illegally dumped litter
(litres per 1000m2)
Overall average estimated volume of litter
(litres per 1000m2)
FOR STATE SPECIFIC RELEASE PLEASE CONTACT ALICE@KAB.ORG.AU
About Keep Australia Beautiful: Keep Australia Beautiful is the national peak body on litter prevention. With more than four decades of experience in engaging Australians to care for their local environments, (not to be confused with Clean Up Australia Day) KAB Programs include Sustainable Cities, Tidy Towns, Clean Beaches, National Litter Index, Eco-Schools, Adopt a Patch, and Keep Australia Beautiful Week in August.
The KAB National website is www.kab.org.au where all information on the organisation can be accessed including the National Litter Index, which is Australia’s only independent nation-wide litter research.