A push to trial no trace waste at the Green Point Reserve in Marrawah has been met with severe concerns by locals, who say that the current system is already overloaded as it is.
Currently there are five wheelie bins present at the Green Point Reserve, which features a carpark, barbecue shelter, playground and toilets at the beach’s access point.
These wheelie bins are emptied fortnightly and locals avoid using them as they almost invariably end up full well ahead of collection, according to local Kay McElrae.
“Sometimes there’s not enough space for the rubbish that we pick up walking on the beach so we take it home with us,” she said.
“We don’t mind doing that and the tourists are very respectful and tidy for the most part, but to take those bins away defies belief.”
The no trace trial would bring the reserve into line with the expectations seen in other camping and day use areas, such as Preservation Bay, Julius River, the Milkshakes and the Arthur Pieman Conservation Area. Use of the White Hills Waste Transfer station is free for visitors and locals alike, but is a 45 minute drive.
“It feels a lot like a step backwards,” Kay said of the potential change.
“We have been campaigning to get a skip bin for the summer and now to attempt to get rid of the bins completely . . . I can’t believe it.”
She pointed out that in Marrawah there are no footpaths, street lights and minimal road lines to be maintained.
“For them to take this away on top of that makes no sense. Where are all of our rates going?”
She also said that if this happened elsewhere there would be community uproar.
“I don’t want to be nit-picky and to pin communities against each other, but if they announced this trial in Stanley there would be war on the streets,” she said.
“I don’t see us being any different to Stanley. We don’t have the tourism infrastructure that they do, but we have five unique beaches that you can’t see anywhere else.
“It’s just not feasible for everyone to be able to take away all of their rubbish all of the time.
“I can’t even fathom where this would be spoken in a conversation as being a good idea, I’m absolutely livid.”
The no trace waste trial is yet to be confirmed and will be discussed at the next public council meeting, held July 15 at the Circular Head Council chambers.