Everything and the kitchen sink – record amount of rubbish found in forests

15 Mar 23

Our Stories

OneFortyOne is calling on Limestone Coast residents, to stop dumping rubbish in the forest, and to call out people who are not doing the right thing, after a record amount of rubbish was found across the forest estate over the past year.

Not only is dumping rubbish in the forest an environmental and fire risk, it’s illegal.

Gambier Area Supervisor Jeremy Cookson said a whole range of items from abandoned vehicles and vehicle tyres to general waste and whitegoods, even a kitchen sink, have been among the litter throughout the OneFortyOne estate.

He also added that it’s not just small amounts of waste. It’s tandem loads and small trailer loads that have been dumped.

“It’s bewildering that there are people out there that still think it’s okay and acceptable to dump rubbish like this in the environment,” Jeremy said.

“Not only is it an environmental and fire risk, it’s illegal.”

“We know our forests are great for things like walking, horse riding, and 4WDing, and it’s disappointing that these activities may be affected by rubbish dumping.”

“If people keep dumping, areas of the forest will become unsafe to the public.”

Jeremy said a lot of the time the rubbish could’ve easily been sorted into recycling or is smaller items that would fit into a home landfill bin.

Other items found like whitegoods, tyres, paint, and chemical tins, while a bit trickier, all have disposal options at the transfer stations.

Some rubbish found could’ve easily been sorted into recycling.

“If you’re not sure how to dispose of something, contact your local Council,” Jeremy said.

“There’s always a better, more environmentally conscious, and safer way than mindlessly dumping your rubbish in the forest.”

“If you’re doing this, you’re contributing to a bigger problem, and worst case start a fire that could ultimately lead to deaths.”

“If you have information about illegal dumping or have seen something suspicious, you can anonymously share what you know with Crime Stoppers by going to crimestopperssa.com.au or freecall 1800 333 000.”

“It’s going to take a collaborative and targeted effort between forest growers, local councils, community, and Police to start minimising the issue.”

OneFortyOne acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their deep connections to land, water, and community. We pay our respect to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations people today.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori communities have a strong spiritual connection between people and the land – the wellbeing of one sustains the wellbeing of the other. We strive to build meaningful relationships with iwi as tangata whenua (people of the land/region), to be responsible intergenerational kaitiaki (stewards/guardians) of the land where our forests grow.