When one thinks of a pest in our local waterways, they’re probably not thinking of the humble shopping trolley. Despite the seemingly common sense not to throw household items into waterways, dozens of trolleys have been dumped in the Ipswich rivers system lately. Not only does this cause a hazard to local wildlife, but to humans also.
Ipswich City Council (City Maintenance) in partnership with the Healthy Land and Water Clean-up Program, recently removed numerous trolleys from the river in a joint effort that took weeks.
Trolleys have for some time been an ongoing problem for both the Bremer River and other Ipswich waterways and are symptomatic of the urban setting, with the Bremer River dividing the town centre and Riverlink Shopping Centre.
Unfortunately, Council gets regular complaints from members of the public about them being dumped, dropped off bridges or thrown into the water.
Shopping trolleys that are submerged in rivers or lakes can cause issues for local wildlife as well as trapping other litter and debris and break down into hazardous material.
However, debris within the waterway is not strictly the responsibly of council.
The Queensland Government owns (Crown land) and has responsibility for the water and the bed of the river – but does not have an active program of management outside maintaining safe navigation. As such there is no one picking up litter and debris.
Council has for seven years engaged the Healthy Land and Water Clean-up Program to patrol the navigable reaches of the Bremer and Brisbane rivers, picking up litter and debris from the water and banks.
Over the years this program has collected many tonnes of litter and rubbish. Officers last year collected 11,426 items of litter within Ipswich, including about 2,400 bottles, 500 cans and 1900 food packages.
The program does not normally collect large items like trollies but in response to public requests and in line with Clean Up Australia Day, council engaged the clean-up crew to go out and target these trollies.
It’s not just a problem with the Bremer and Brisbane Rivers, either. Local environmentalist and founder of the Greater Springfield Environmental Group said the problem extends to Springfield Lakes also.
Things found in the several lakes in this burgeoning suburb weren’t limited to small general waste, and also included shopping trolleys, fire extinguishers, bikes, chairs and tyres.
“As development happened in the region, we [Luise’s husband and herself] noticed more people throwing stuff out of their car as well,” Ms Manning said.
“I have a little saying, stow it – don’t throw it. If you go for a walk, pick up rubbish before it ends up in the lake.”
Resounding public opinion shows that pollution and littering of waterways like the Bremer River and Springfield Lakes creates a negative opinion of the area, so please- don’t litter our waterways. If you see someone doing so, please report it 3810 6666
Photo and Information courtesy Ipswich First.