An effluent area

I like to go for a walk along Marine Parade, Cottesloe, one of Perth’s premier beaches. 

The other week I got up early to go for said walk.  It was the day after an early Summer day and at 6.30 in the morning the air was clear with the promise of a lovely warm day.

It was a little breezy and as I walked through the suburb to the beachfront the pages of a copy of “The Financial Review” fluttered past me.

A suburb of affluence I thought as I bent to pick up the pages closest to me.

As I reached Marine Parade I saw that the rest of the paper was scattered along the dunes, caught in the tufty plants that hold the beach sand together along the pathway.

I started picking up pages and as I did several other early morning walkers joined in.

It was lovely, a real sense of “this is a beautiful place and we want to keep it that way”.

We smiled at eachother as we put the papers in the bin.

I even found a bra caught in the bushes.

“How nice”, I thought, “to live in a place where people care about their environment.”

I continued my walk towards the main beach. 

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

As far as they eye could see the beach, the grassy banks, the footpaths, were covered with rubbish.  The bins were overflowing.

It looked like a rubbish tip, with seagulls wheeling overhead.

People were picking their way through papers, drink bottles, plastics to the sea to swim.

It was appalling.  Disgusting. Embarrassing.

I walked along the beachfront for about 200 metres before turning back inland.

I couldn’t bear to see the beach anymore.  I felt angry. Impotent.

Later that day the rangers came and raked the beach.

It had been a hot day.  Apparently 5000 people converged on Cottesloe that Sunday. 

But in my opinion that does not excuse the behaviour. 

People if it doesn’t fit in the bin – TAKE IT WITH YOU.


7 Replies to “An effluent area”

  1. Argh. I hate seeing those types of things. Every time I see someone throw litter out of their car window it’s all I can do to keep from picking it up and throwing it in their face. That might get me shot.
    On a positive note, at least the bending and picking up of trash probably did wonders for your back muscles. Go HASAY!

  2. That reminds me of when we took a Disney Cruise last November.

    We went to their private island. People just left their trash everywhere. They couldn’t bother with throwing it away. I guess they felt the staff of the cruise ship could clean up after them. And there were clean up crews available to clean up after the people got back on the ship. You know, because when you’re on holiday you’re not suppposed to lift a finger or worry about the environment.

    How hard is it to go and find a garbage (rubbish bin) to throw your stuff away!

    I was worried and disgusted because we were on the beach. So much crap could just blow into the water. I went around and cleaned up as much as possible.

    It also bothered me because they had no recycling available. I hate that. I think it’s ridiculous not to provide recycling.

  3. Dina there’s no recycling easily available where I live either, we need to physically take it to the recycling centre, which is too much work for some people.

    If you’re expecting more people on the beach (hang on, isn’t it summer?) put more bins out!! Or be like me, and after 6!!! years of nappies carry plastic bags with you to serve as rubbish bags as needed.

  4. To be fair to the Town of Cottesloe – they have big silver bins – normal and recycling all over the place – and they’ve run a “Bin it or Swim in it” campaign as well.

    I think the problem is they don’t collect the rubbish often enough on busy days.

    The real problem is of course that the great unwashed don’t bother taking responsibility for their own rubbish.

  5. I’m glad I didn’t get to see “my” beach like that. Isn’t it terrible, as a local, to see “your area” mistreated like that.

    If you want to REALLY be disappointed go for a walk around Cremorne Point on January 1 each year. On NYE about 10,000 people converge on a narrow strip of grass for about 12 hours and what they leave behind could sink a ship. Not for lack of council-provided recycling bins mind you.

  6. I have been doing the same thing on walks with my kids….picking up other peoples trash. It’s amazing how some people really don’t care what the neighborhood looks like.

  7. I hate rubbish. I try really hard not to generate too much garbage from my own property, my bins are never full on collection days, while others put out bins that are overflowing so the lids can’t be closed, this then gets blown down the street. Ugh! when I go out anywhere if I can’t find a bin all my rubbish comes home with me.. My kids are the same because that’s how I taught them. And I think there is the real problem. Some parents don’t teach their kids to properly dispose of their waste, these kids then grow up and don’t teach their own kids and the cycle goes on.

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