‘The turd-worst Clean Up Australia Day experienced at Expedition Pass’

Our readers will be wearily familiar with our complaints about rubbish dumping in the bush. This practice is one of the weirder signs of something wrong with our culture. We reckon the report below from Golden Point Landcare takes the discussion to another level, though…and it’s not a higher level:

The best part of Golden Point Landcare’s annual clean up at the Res was that there wasn’t as much of the usual human detritus to clean up – but it appears we have another problem!  Over the last twenty years working with Golden Point Landcare, Parks Victoria and locals, there have been trailer load after trailer load of bags full of all sorts of rubbish to be taken away. But, happily, not this year. 

Expedition Pass reservoir: an idyllic and much loved local resource: so what kind of person chucks a bag full of poo into the bush, or lets a dog poo into the water’s edge?

The biggest issue was dog droppings – droppings just plopped, and other droppings bagged but left. Really, really unpleasant calling cards left as reminders that the “No Dogs” signs are being ignored by a very selfish few.

As usual, this annual day is a great social catchup for locals, and as usual the volunteers did a casual review before heading off home to clean themselves up.

Comments ranged from the positives:

·       the res has become so popular that people regard it more highly and like to come back to a clean park,

·       judging by the type of rubbish found, it was more adult type things that could mean that current school anti-litter programs like “Take your rubbish with you” and “Don’t rubbish Australia” could be working,

·       the regular tidy up by Parks Victoria Rangers helps keep the park in attractive and healthy

·       despite the number of visitors, some wildlife was still active (including a brown snake on Res side of the bank!)

The discussion brought out some downsides too:

·       the incredible number of dog droppings around the water’s edge (carefully collected by a volunteer using gloves and placed in a separate bag for disposal)

·       and even more incredible were the number of bagged dog droppings along the side of the road opposite the carpark

·       bottles and cans (mostly tucked in the bushes) that are worth 10c each if recycled,

·       the perennial take away food and drink containers thrown from car windows

Local Parks Victoria Ranger Susan worked with us and then disposed of the ute load of collected rubbish, which made the session so much more enjoyable (if picking up other people’s rubbish can be called that!)

The biggest question that came out of the morning’s activity was about dogs being at the res in the first place – this despite the valid reasons for protecting the natural environment and the NO DOGS signs.  Dog poo finding its way into the Res eventually impacts the water quality affecting both humans and wildlife.  When left on the ground, waste eventually breaks down and washes into rivers, streams, creeks and other local waterways.

And the ‘doggie’ bags left lying around are another baffling issue. There were many of these “baffling issues” along the roadsides near the Res…


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