Campsite rubbish problem out of control over Easter

Published: April 9, 2021
rubbish at campground

The Easter weekend saw a huge surge in the number of campers out and about across Australia but, sadly, it also saw huge surge in the rubbish left in normally pristine areas.

The piles of garbage left by holidaymakers at the Dandos campground in Victoria’s Otways region has shocked locals.

Angela Hocking runs a cattle farm with her husband across the road from the campsite. She told the ABC that she was 168 centimetres tall and the rubbish pile at the end of the path that greeted her was only a few centimetres shorter and at least three metres wide.

“You get there and it just hit you in the face,” Ms Hocking said. “It was literally the Great Wall of Trash … I was shaking, I have never seen this down here — this is ridiculous.”

The Dandos campsite sits alongside the Gellibrand River in south-west Victoria, about an hour’s drive from Melbourne. The site doesn’t have permanent bins and campers are asked to take their rubbish with them when they leave.

But this Easter long weekend that didn’t happen.

“Looking down from the farm, we saw so many cars entering the site, it was like the Monash freeway peak hour all weekend,” Ms Hokcing told the ABC. “My husband and I spent the weekend picking up trash along the side of the road down to our paddocks, getting it out of our paddocks.”

David Roberts looks after the south-west on behalf of Forest Fire Management Victoria.

He told the ABC that the dumping of rubbish in such pristine green areas made no sense.

“Leaving rubbish behind at campsites is at odds with why we go to these beautiful locations — to enjoy the natural surroundings,” Mr Roberts said. “We urge campers to consider their impact on the environment and respect their fellow campers by keeping campsites clean and taking rubbish with them when they leave.”

While the piles of rubbish seen by Ms Hocking have now been removed, no one thinks the underlying issue has been solved.

Consultation is underway for upgrades at the Dandos site, but there are no plans to introduce rubbish collection as part of the works. 

Ms Hocking said permanent bins need to be introduced to the site, and that a small camp fee could help off-set the cost of such an addition. 

” I think at the very basic entry level, fixing the issue is really to have some skip bins put down there on major weekends,” she said. 

  • Were you shocked by any litter issues over the Easter weekend? Comment below.
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9 months ago

Utterly disgusting
I don’t like seeing places and destinations shut but in these
Terrible cases it is completely necessary

What in the world is wrong with people this is our planet that rubbish will end up in someones yard, animals belly or a drinking water supply

I can bet those filthy rats that dump rubbish would flip out if somebody threw rubbish at their house

Utter disgrace

David Roffe
9 months ago
Reply to  Ant

Agree totally with your comment – Utter disgrace

9 months ago
Reply to  Ant

It is disgusting and how many of us all go around with a bag picking up other people’s rubbish ? But I’m sorry lots of them are backpackers , they do toilet and paper on the ground and rubbish on the ground right beside bins. And I’ve seen lots of locals dump there rubbish in the local parks . Especially clean outs . For those who are nomads , be ashamed . It’s getting hard enough to find places to stay without adding to locals angst towards us

9 months ago
Reply to  Ant


Malcolm Nelson Jeffries
9 months ago

It will get worse as the privilidged ones that normally would travel overseas and have low paid locals pick up and cleanup after them are now camping at home

9 months ago

What a disrespectful attitude. We certainly do consider ourselves privileged (simply being an Aussie is proof of that) However to suggest those that do normally travel overseas and now caravan and create the mess is quite absurd. But feel free to provide proof of your statement anytime on this forum.

9 months ago

Yes I do agree
The door does swing both ways. Sometimes it’s local yobos or yobos from further afield that make a mess
And currently with overseas travel off limits you can put 1 and 1 together.
Unfortunately there are always people dumping,,, and if the dumping is worse while overseas travel is canned the arrow points to people who normally travel overseas.
Be interesting to see if dumping is reduced when overseas travel resumes

9 months ago

It was the same here at Macquarie Woods!

9 months ago

A $100 refundable deposit and no refund if you leave crap for these filthy grubs, bring it in take it out.

Myles Carroll
9 months ago

If you see people dumping rubbish or toilets take a photo and with there number plate and publish it.

9 months ago

After witnessing the righteous self entitled ratbags barrelling down the highway, tailgating and flashing their lights only to have to drop to 20Km at roundabouts a fgew hundred meters away, this comes as no surprise. Soon all camping will be by license then they will squeal

9 months ago
Reply to  Fly

Yes there is a whole group of “fools” younger and older
That have absolutely no brains. Happens everyday they hoon about to achieve absolutely nothing. But these self entitled twits “think” they have achieved something because they are not behind another vehicle or think it is an achievement to ‘get around as many cars as possible’

Russ Meyers
9 months ago

Maybe with the surge in numbers wanting to travel and spend in regional areas the local council should put an skip bin or two out surely that would help

Len Sorrell
9 months ago

It was a few years ago that the term the “me generation” was born; now the me generation has spawned the “stuff you:” generation!

9 months ago

Collectively we need to fix the problem – 4WD / SUV campers buy yourself a portable rubbish bag that straps over rear wheel & take out with you to the nearest bin. I agree with earlier comment – temporary bins on public holidays with camp fees. End of the day we don’t take these steps then we loose the opportunity to visit / stay in these places. These are the only alternative solutions to bloody human bad attitude.

Ricky B
9 months ago

By and large, most people try and do the right thing. The small number of idiots who do what they please as there are absolutely no personal consequence to their actions. They dont care about others at all. I totally agree with @Len Sorrell’s sentiment.

William Frost
9 months ago

Seems to me there’s an education problem here – if the schools just substituted some of their leftish and gender nonsense for some environmental respect education the problem would eventually be corrected.

Pauline Kapral
9 months ago

Maybe the local Council needs to add more garbage runs at these times of the year especially when they are encouraging people to camp local. It takes a bit more management on behalf of everyone but if the bins aren’t emptied often enough this is what happens. I am sure the shops were glad to have the campers

Tim Patton
9 months ago
Reply to  Pauline Kapral

There is a cost involved in picking up rubbish. Do you propose this additional cost be absorbed by all in the community?
I propose this, if you can carry all that crap in why is it you cant take it home and put in in your own rubbish bin? Or visit the local tip? All I can see is more closures coming or massive costs incurred on all who love to go camping and most of these people look after their own trash.

Michael Ol3
9 months ago

Have seen this problem Oz wide on our travels, no community should be asked to pay for these disgusting pigs, could only imagine what theiir backyards are like . You can’t penalise the good campers because of the bad campers, perhaps signage and an education program might ease the problem but hit the non compliant bums with massive penalties and banishment from our countrys gems, let them camp in their own backyard


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