Co-ordinated by the national park with support from the City of Wanneroo, the June 4 clean-up saw volunteers clear thousands of bottles, cans and plastic drink containers, cigarette butts, syringes, fast food wrappers, car tyres, a set of vertical blinds and a dart board along the 2km stretch of road.
The park’s volunteer co-ordinator Ciara McIlduff said the community and volunteers were shocked to see how the environment had been used as a dumping pit.
‘Not only does illegally dumped rubbish cost a lot to remove and look unsightly, but it can also have serious impacts on our natural environment, like injuries to wildlife, contamination of precious groundwater through dumping of chemicals, the spread of weeds and increased fire risk from dumped green waste,’ she said.
‘Some litter, such as syringes, car bodies and broken glass, is considered hazardous and can create a public risk.’
Every year volunteers spend about 1000 hours collecting rubbish from the bushlands and wetlands of Yanchep National Park, which is managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife and a registered Keep Australia Beautiful (KABC) Adopt-a-Spot site.
People who dump rubbish illegally can be prosecuted under the Litter Act 1979, which can attract an infringement fine of between $200 and $500 for individuals. This could increase to $5000 if the case is taken to court.
Community members can help with the fight against illegal littering by registering as a litter reporter with KABC.