A group has installed a see-through rubbish bin on the Gold Coast to show people what is floating under the water at The Spit.
The bin sits at The Spit, a popular fishing spot on the Gold Coast. Photo: Rowley Goonan
Graeme Bagnall, who has lived at The Spit since December 2014, said he and a few mates created the bin to try to reinforce the need for people to clean up after themselves.
“There are a lot of people who come down here so I wanted to make an awareness bin to wake up the people around here to clean up after themselves a little bit or take their rubbish home,” he said.
The bin, installed about three months ago, holds old fishing lines, netting and other waste taken out of the waters at the popular fishing spot.
It has been a talking point for children and their parents, tourists and locals.
“I have watched people explaining it to their kids, people walking by and seeing what is in the bin,” Mr Bagnall said.
“If it gets a little into your head, it’ll work next time someone is out somewhere to stop them from dropping their rubbish.”
Divers and tourists who have seen the bin often hand over rubbish to Graeme who sorts through it, putting the most interesting finds in the “awareness bin”.
The rest goes into a 20-gallon bucket he keeps at the top of the stairs for the fishermen to dump their rubbish into once they are finished in the area.
Graeme said while there were council bins 40 metres away from the dive access point at The Skip, people needed to be better educated about dumping rubbish.
“It’s a matter of re-educating people, that’s the hard part,” he said.
“You can put bins every 10 metres and people will still throw rubbish on the ground.”
An image of a dead turtle found in the area sits on the front face of the bin to remind the public fishing waste in the water has a direct impact on the local wildlife.
Rowley Goonan of Wild Bird Rescues Gold Coast captures and releases about two birds a day that become hooked or entangled in fishing line from Coolangatta to Jacobs Well.
Mr Goonan said unwanted or discarded fishing lines were causing severe damage to the wildlife in the area.
“The effects are far-reaching. It’s not a case of casual littering, it’s a case of littering that causes severe harm to wildlife,” he said.
Mr Goonan said specific bins were needed in fishing points along the Gold Coast with signs warning people to dispose of their tackle thoughtfully.
“If you have a fishing line bin on the Gold Coast, I would like to see them with a clear message – dispose of waste tackle,” he said.
“It sends a clear message that waste tackle is a problem.”
A statement from Gold Coast City Council said the general waste bins in foreshore park areas could be used for the disposal of fishing line and tackle as well as general rubbish.
The statement also pointed out that advice regarding fishing waste disposal is provided on the City website.
Read the article on The Brisbane Times.