Merimbula Lake oyster farmers are fed up with dragging other people’s rubbish out of the lake.
Merimbula Gourmet Oysters staff are used to picking up small bits of litter but said they are sick and tired of devoting hours of their day to retrieving large household items such as old couches and tyres.
Last week after the huge downpour from the weekend’s storms three staff members spent half a day collecting rubbish that was scattered throughout the oyster leases.
“This happens every time there is a storm,” Merimbula Gourmet Oysters farmer Dominic Boyton said.
“People dump or leave their rubbish close to creek beds and then when we get a lot of rain it is all washed into the lake.”
During their clean up the oyster farmers pulled out a leather couch, a two-seater sofa, a recliner chair, a couple of tyres, a lot of wood, some metal, a couple of tarps and some foam mattresses. There are also two large tractor tyres that are still in the lake as they are too heavy to lift.
Dragging the couches out of the water is an onerous task which involves breaking them into smaller parts because they become too heavy to lift once they are full of water.
Mr Boyton’s wife Pip said the farmers are forced to do this every time there is a heavy rain.
“It’s frustrating because it happens at least a couple times a year and not only are we forced to drag the rubbish out of the water but we then have to take it to the tip and pay the fees,” she said.
Thankfully, last week when she informed council of the problem they offered to send a truck to pick up the rubbish, but Ms Boyton said that’s not the point.
“These items pose a serious navigational hazard and it is just disgusting to see our beautiful waterways looking like a tip.
“People need to clean up their act, don’t leave rubbish near waterways and if you see things dumped there then report it to council.”
Mr and Mrs Boyton said they aren’t the only oyster farmers in the area that are having clean up after others on a regular basis.
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