New push for Burrawan State Forest clean-up | photos

In 2013, Wauchope’s Mat Oliver had had enough of the rubbish being dumped in the much-used Burrawan State Forest.

So he did something about it.

The ensuing clean-up realised a massive 12.1 tonnes of rubbish being removed from the popularly used area along with a further 60 abandoned tyres.

Mat rallied 35 people to help him in his bid to clean-up the area. they included fellow 4WD enthusiasts, forestry workers and the wider public.

Now, he says, it’s time to again take to the bush and remove the loads of rubbish being consistently dumped in and around the forestry areas.

“I’ve had enough,” he said. “I’ve been talking to a couple of friends about it and we will be starting to ramp things up shortly.”

Mr Oliver says he won’t simply organise a clean-up. He’s now realised the problem is broader than just people taking rubbish in state forests and dumping it.

“I’ve been talking with forestry but I have also made approaches to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council too.

“There is a genuine feeling in the community that council could do more to assist in either reducing tip fee costs or increasing the number of tip tickets that are available, particularly to people who are renting.

“People I’ve spoken with who rent, don’t always get access to those tip tickets. The tip ticket concept is good, but (if they are not forwarded to renters) it makes it harder for them to get to the tip.

“I think council can look at something like giving tip tickets directly to people who are renting. I just think this would help ease some of the rubbish dumping that is occurring.

“I really want to work with council and forestry to get a plan happening between everyone.”

Mr Oliver said he was ‘really concerned’ by the level of rubbish he had found during recent trips into the forest.

“It was unbelievable and quite astonishing how much is actually out there,” he added.

He says the level of illegal dumping is getting worse and is currently as bad as it’s ever been.

“There are a few spots where the dumping is pretty close to the road while there is also plenty of rubbish being dumped deeper into the forest.

Mr Oliver said it would be financially more sound to offer more tip tickets and reduce dumping costs at the tip when compared to cleaning up the state forest.

He suggested monitoring entry points to forests with surveillance cameras could also stem levels of illegal dumping.

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