Endless war on Illegal dumpers
HE may be discharged from the army but former Townsville soldier Dave Dudley is still fighting a battle against a stealthy enemy – illegal rubbish dumpers.
Sick of seeing the rubbish he encountered when driving his motorcycle and fourwheel drive through Townsville’s bushland, Mr Dudley formed a local clean up group called TIDY (Townsville Illegal Dumping Yobos clean ups) in 2019.
The Facebook group struck a chord with the community, amassing an army of 2700 volunteers looking to help out.
Up to 20 people, aged between eight and 80 years will join Mr Dudley at regular clean up events he organises anywhere between
Crystal Creek, Woodstock and Cungulla.
He regards Healy Creek, Hervey Range, North Shore, the Port Access Road, and the Bohle River as the worst areas for illegal dumping.
Although he has a day job as a nurse, Mr Dudley puts in 30 to 40 hours a week into planning, writing letters, searching for dump sights, and doing reconnaissance in advance of clean up events.
He’s got the process down to a fine art and has forged strong working relationships with key stakeholders including the Department of Environment and Science and Townsville City Council, who provides the group with dump access.
Local businesses have also played a key supporting role in donating materials and
machinery to clear away the mountains of junk.
“I’d say that it is consistently bad. We’ve removed about 50t of waste in the last two and a half years and 18 vehicles,” Mr Dudley said.
“These (dumpers) are people who just don’t care. Normal people wouldn’t do this. They don’t go in and dump during broad daylight and they don’t dump in areas of high visibility,” he said.
“They go to secluded spots in the bush at night and dump because it’s wrong and they don’t want to get caught.”
As he’s gone on, Mr Dudley has found the rubbish issue has become increasingly problematic in and around Townsville’s surrounding waterways.
It led him to recently launch a new group called the Townsville Three Rivers Cleanup Campaign, which aims to clean and preserve the
Ross, Bohle and Black Rivers.
“When you get down to the lower end of the Ross River, towards the mouth and the Port Access area, there’s rubbish in the mangroves and it’s absolutely atrocious,” he said.
“Then you’ve got Black River that’s got burnt out cars and tyres dumped in it and illegal dumps along the edge and then you’ve got the Bohle, which is the worst of the three.”
Given that he had the necessary approvals and expertise, Mr Dudley encouraged frustrated locals to join him in cleaning up the city rather than taking matters into their own hands and having to pay to dump the rubbish they collected.
To join the clean up effort, visit TIDY www.facebook.com/groups/1044042929275742
the Three Rivers Clean Up https:// www.facebook.com/groups/715453689381622