Town pride a load of rubbish
 Baw Baw Opinion  

By // 17:37, Thursday 13 August 2015

bins william pj kulich warragul baw baw citizen newspaper

MANY people are proud to be Gippslanders. The region is known for its crisp, natural scenery and clean living.

First published in the 10 July 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.

But anyone getting off a train from Melbourne or further east will wonder if we have any pride at all when they are greeted by rubbish.


ADVERTISEMENT

Granted, bins have been removed from stations in response to the terror threat level being hiked up, but even after a visitor has left the platform and ventured into one of our towns they will be followed by litter.

Bins at the Warragul station car park are overflowing, takeaway packaging patrols the footpaths (I even saw a Red Rooster cutlery pack kicking around William Square last week – the closest chain is in Morwell!) and collections of wrappers and bottles start colonies in leaf litter and unused spaces.

In Warragul, the empty space between EB Games, the rest of the post office complex and the public toilets acts like a fish trap for waste. Wind blows junk in, watched over by milkshake cups which have been shoved into wire infrastructure cages.

I was discussing the situation with one local at that site last month and, while we talked, one man entered the defacto courtyard, lit a smoke, and after a few puffs dropped it on the ground and left.

“Who’d blame him, the place is already a mess,” the local said.

“People have no pride in where they live.”

That may well be true, and with modern attitudes to rubbish being remarkably similar to Homer Simpson’s “Can’t Someone Else Do It?” sanitation commissioner slogan, the thankless task of keeping our towns tidy is left to our already financially stretched council. (Yes, your rates do pay for cleaning up litter.)

Empty shops may be an eyesore, but a run down town does not help those shops that are left. When a shopping centre an hour away offers a cleaner, more uplifting atmosphere, it’s understandable that some might prefer to shop at one.

Information on the effectiveness of town pride in boosting the local economy is difficult to find, but Land Policy Institute Director at Michigan State University in the United States Soji Adelaja has argued the modern economy makes place exceptionally important.


ADVERTISEMENT

According to Adelaja, summarised by Project for Public Spaces, “keeping and attracting people is the most important strategy in this new economic landscape.” This includes effective service provision and quality of life.

So finding a bin to put your bottle in or picking up the newspaper you can see blowing around may well save you money on your rates and boost the economy.

The worst it can do is make the place look nicer.

“The Garbage Man can,” and so can you.

Where do you think the worst litter hotspots in Baw Baw are? Let us know below.

 Click for the latest Baw Baw Opinion  

5 responses to “Town pride a load of rubbish”

  1. Adam says:

    The freeway exit at Drouin coming from Melbourne. Peanuts always drop there fast food waste there.

  2. Janice Eshuis says:

    In Drouin I reckon the worst place is the east bound off-ramp from the freeway,out near the Robin Hood Hotel (it got even worse when Hungry Jacks opened at Longwarry North!). The next worst one would be round the skate park in the town.

  3. Beth Carr says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if the folk who operate businesses in the buildings including La Porchetta and further on, either side, could regularly use a pressure washer to spruce up the facades? How much better would it be?

  4. Helen says:

    Where do people learn manners! it is just NOT OK to drop rubbish or throw it out of the car Also the fast food outlets need to be made accountable for the rubbish they generate and sponsor clean ups. The containers travel many into local state forest areas.

  5. Paul says:

    It’s probably a waste of energy writing this, but the rubbish that is dropped on our rural roads is a similar disgrace…eg all the way up to Mt Worth State Park, supposedly somewhere people go to enjoy the natural outdoors!…unfortunately the people who do it just don’t care, so what do we do?