Rubbish and waste in caravan parks

By: JOHN MACK, Photography by: JOHN MACK

Are you a dumper? Or does rubbish make your blood boil? John Mack discusses the issues of waste and bins in caravan parks and the bush.

Why is that a small minority of caravanners and campers dump their toilet paper in the bush? It seems that blowing your nose and tucking the germ laden handkerchief up your sleeve is fine, but for some of the community, a bit of sterile urine stained tissue is too disgusting to touch.


Rubbish By A Lake

Travellers with cassette toilets are not immune. Nobody wants to see the ugly white splatters laced with partly decomposed toilet paper and noxious chemicals scattered behind the bushes. If a dump point is not available – get the spade out. Can you imagine pulling into a rest area (sans toilet block) and as you open your delicious ham and salad sandwich a large bluebottle lands on your lunch having just finished exploring some human waste hidden behind the nearby bushes.


Bottles And Cans And Rubbish Dump

Rubbish also gets my blood pressure rising. Don’t throw cans and bottles in the fire, they will not magically disappear when you depart, nor will the rings of stones so beloved by the urban cowboy types! No one likes to arrive at a site with half a dozen memories of fires long past dotted about an otherwise lovely area.  Never mind the piles of ashes, assorted silver paper, burnt tins and metal bottle tops accumulating in these ash piles – or the scattering of cigarette butts! Buy a gas stove, portable fire pit or choofer and then bury the cold ashes.  Some people even go to the extremes of carting in old sheets of rusty corrugated iron as wind deflectors for their fires, but they never seem to take them home!


Bottles Dumped In The Bush

I am not in favour of rubbish bins as my experience tells me they are usually full to overflowing and yet people continue to stack their neatly tied bags of rubbish beside the bins – just for the convenience of the crows, foxes and dingoes to scatter in their hunt for a bit of easy tucker.  Large dumpster bins or a notice stating, ‘No bins provided please take your rubbish home’ would be more effective options.


While in favour of some of the philosophy and rules of the ’Leave No Trace’ organisation I am not an advocate of the grey water tanks they dictate. Many people recycle their household grey water onto their gardens and this is a responsible and effective way of recycling. So why not nourish the bush with your caravan grey water.  Responsibly done by piping it away from the parking area and feeding it out to the nearby vegetation gives a helping hand to our desperately dry landscape.  A small cloth bag tied over the end of the hose collects any remaining solids for later disposal with the garbage.

If we don’t clean up our act more and more free camp sites will be closed down. The ever increasing levels of bureaucratic regulation behind councils and the Department of Health will take action.

YOUR SAY: Have you ever seen dumping in the bush or a caravan park? Or have you ever left your rubbish behind? Tweet us @caravanworld or comment below...