Clean up Australia Day is on Sunday, March 4 and staff from Bournda Environmental Education Centre, NSW National Parks and Wildlife and a team of volunteers are targeting Sapphire Coast Drive during their rubbish collection.
Bournda EEC principal Doug Reckord said the amount of rubbish along the tourist drive was a bad look.
“This is a major tourist road and we market this area on its untouched, natural beauty,”
“It’s like inviting people to your home and when they pull up there’s rubbish all over your driveway.”
Mr Reckord has been involved in the annual clean up of the area for about 10 years and said there has been improvements over time.
“The first year we did it, it was monstrous, there was so much rubbish, but because we are returning every year we’re starting to see less each time,” he said.
He is interested to see what effect the recent introduction of the NSW government’s Return and Earn scheme will have on the amount of drink containers on the side of the road this year.
“Drink bottles and food containers have always been our biggest problem,” he said.
“For some reason, when people are driving through beautiful bush land, they can’t think of any better place to put their food and drink containers than out the window.”
Mr Reckord added a lot of stray waste - destined for nearby Merimbula waste and recycling depot or the Wallagoot waste transfer depot - also ended up on the side of the road.
“Rubbish can blow off the back of trucks and utes very easily, so we find a lot of that during our clean up,’ he said.
“But the most frustrating is hard rubbish, someone who has dumped a washing machine out in the bush to avoid the tip fee.”
Mr Reckord said taking part in Clean Up Australia Day was a way to give back to nature and do something positive for the local area.
“If we can get more people picking up rubbish than throwing it out, we will win,” he said.
”In the end what we are trying to do is disrupt the flow of rubbish into our natural environment.”
The Sapphire Coast Drive Clean Up Australia Day event starts at the intersection of Bournda Road and Sapphire Coast Road at 9am on Sunday, March 4 and will cover about 5km of the roadway.