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Businesses to blame for rubbish

THE Coast’s waterways are still being choked by rubbish.

But the usual suspects – drivers tossing fast food and soft drink debris out car windows – are not the main culprits.

According to Maroochy Waterwatch’s Cerran Fawns, the business community carries the biggest responsibility.

Stormwater run-off is dragging tonnes of garbage from Coast roadsides and median strips – especially the Sunshine Motorway – leading to unsightly and environmentally dangerous waterways.

But an analysis of a recent rubbish pick-up carried out by Waterwatch showed the vast bulk was industrial waste, much of it likely being blown off the back of vehicles where loads have not been securely tied down.

“It’s a lot of trade rubbish,” Ms Fawns said.

“There are sheets and layers of plastic blown off the back of utes and whole roll-offs used for separating concrete slabs.”

A rubbish collection along the Sunshine Motorway between Maroochy River and the airport proved an eye-opener.

“We collected a huge amount in only 100 metres of the roadside verge,” Ms Fawns said.

“We couldn’t fit it all into our skip bin because that was already filled with rubbish pulled out of Maroochy River – and which is emptied twice a week.”

Ms Fawns said apart from the environmental and health consequences, “what message are we sending to visitors to the Coast?”

The problem was worst at the Maroochy River, with cross-winds on the bridges unleashing loads.

“Every day we are out at the river picking up rubbish,” she said.

“The hot spot is Maroochy River, but other waterways, especially those which run through CBD areas, are all affected.

“It’s the same at Pumicestone Passage and Noosa.

“It’s not just fast food wrappers and soft drink bottles.

“It’s not the teenagers in their cars causing this mess – it’s the business community.”

By Alan Lander


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