Home About Contact FAQ Search Submit

South Australia Needs to Act on Illegal Dumping

Media release - Adelaide, Tuesday 8 February 2012

Ian Kiernan AO, reveals the South Australian 2011 Rubbish Report and calls for action.

It’s official: South Australia needs to act on illegal dumping.

South Australia is renowned for its beautiful parks and public spaces so it comes as a big surprise to find that nearly a quarter of rubbish removed by Clean Up Australia Day volunteers in 2011 was from parklands. The most rubbished sites in the state were parks with 23%, closely followed by school grounds with 22% and then beach/ coastal regions and roadways each with 17% of the total waste surveyed.

The 2011 Rubbish Report highlights some alarming facts about the state of rubbish in South Australia. Plastics were the major source of rubbish making up 40% of rubbish reported. Wire took the top spot of the state’s Top Ten rubbish items making up 16% of the total waste, reflecting an illegal dumping site at which 90% of the reported wire was removed. Plastic bags disappointingly came in at number two with 12% in 2011, an increase from 4% in 2010.

Commenting on the findings, Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman and Founder of Clean Up Australia Day, noted; “South Australia has some of the nation’s most beautiful parks and public spaces. It is such a shame to see them fall victim to rubbishing, creating an eyesore for humans and endangering wildlife.”

“The plastic bags reported in 2011 were mostly reusable, heavier gauge bags that are designed to be kept and used again and again. To see them considered as single use, disposable items is disappointing.”

However, on a more positive note cigarette butts remain low in South Australia where, while they represent 9% of the total rubbish surveyed, they have dropped from second to fourth place. ut it is extremely worrying to see incidences of large volumes of rubbish being dumped in public spaces. “It s unacceptable that people think it is OK to illegally dump rubbish like that found during 2011. Those
responsible should face prosecution.”

“I urge all South Australians to say enough is enough, and join a winning team on Sunday 4 March to Clean Up Australia.”

Last year an estimated 55,221 volunteers removed 1,320 tonnes of rubbish across 600 registered Clean Up sites in South Australia. The hard work put in by the volunteers on the day was extremely impressive and exhibited the pride that South Australians have in the cleanliness of their local environment.

South Australia is the only state that did not feature aluminium cans in its Top 10. It also had the lowest percentage of glass and plastic bottles of any state. Ian Kiernan applauds South Australian residents; “While here are still some lessons to be learnt with rubbish disposal, the residents and visitors to South Australia are more responsible than the rest of us when it comes to disposal of aluminium cans, plastic and glass bottles. This can be directly linked to the fantastic container refund scheme in SA where people don’t see hese items as rubbish – they are 10c pieces.”

”Our 2011 Rubbish Report highlights the amazing achievement of all our Clean Up Australia Day volunteers. They do a fantastic job of cleaning up their own local areas. We want every person in South Australia to register for the Clean Up effort and show the rest of the nation how they can lead by example.”

“Over the last 21 years an estimated 237,500 tonnes of rubbish have been removed from our environment on Clean Up Australia Day. But with every Australian still producing approximately 2 tonnes of garbage a year, we still have a long way to go. We are a resilient nation and through community effort we can preserve our landscapes and oceans. It is vital that volunteers continue their great effort by joining the team and registering to clean up.”

WHAT: Australia’s largest community participation event. Get a group together and register your chosen Clean Up Site online.
WHEN: Clean Up Australia Day – Sunday 4 March; Business Clean Up Day – Tuesday 28 February; Schools Clean Up Day – Friday 2 March
WHERE: Your local park, waterway, school, beach or street.
WHO: Everyone is welcome – friends, family, kids, community groups, work colleagues or anyone else.
HOW: Register for Clean Up Australia Day now at www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au or call 1800 CUA DAY for more information.

For any further media information or an interview, please contact Tracey Wigg, Gaia Communications on 0419 141 266 Email: tawigg@bigpond.com