Rubbish a smoking hot issue
A PASSIONATE wildlife rescuer is pleading with smokers to think twice about where they choose to have their smoke break after picking up thousands of cigarette butts near Hastings St.
Goetz von Schweinfurth was disgusted by the amount of rubbish outside Sofitel Noosa and said something needed to be done to discourage smokers from using the area.
"Hastings Street's got a problem. People are not prepared to put their rubbish in the bin and this needs to be addressed," Mr von Schweinfurth said.
He said Hastings Street staff frequented the area near the Noosa Ferry jetty and their actions could have deadly consequences on the region's wildlife.
"We have collected well over 1500 cigarette butts."
"All of it would otherwise end up in the river. It's disgusting.
"Set up a smoking station if necessary where people can smoke and the rubbish can be disposed of properly."
Mr von Schweinfurth is also calling on Noosa Council to be more proactive in monitoring the situation and handing out fines.
"Once or twice a week someone needs to go around and monitor. It's got to be a community effort and council must take the lead," he said.
"I've mentioned it to the environment people at council, I've sent them photos before."
Council's Waste and Environmental Health Manager Wayne Schafer said council were not aware of the discarded litter at the jetty, but officers would visit the site.
Negligence and a lack of eduction is also to blame.
"Since the Christmas holidays we've picked up 18kg of fishing line and hooks here in the Noosa Woods area."
Mr von Schweinfurth said soy sauce containers and straws were also often hosed down the drain from Bay Village food court, which spills into Noosa River.
"We don't have enough disposal places, we don't have signs. The signs that we have, people ignore.
"What they (Noosa Council) should be doing is putting a few signs around with nice pictures ... and at the bottom say 'please pick up your rubbish or else you will be fined'.
"We are not looking at an ugly sign, nobody like signs, but people are failing to recognise their responsibility."
He suggested having school children draw pictures and provide an information trail about the Noosa environment.
Mr von Schweinfurth also suggested the council give authority to parking officers to hand out on-the-spot fines to litterers.
Mr Schafer said residents who witnessed someone commit a littering offence could report it online, via the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection's website at report-littering-dumping.ehp.qld.gov.au
"Littering offences attract fines that vary depending on the nature of the litter and whether it is dangerous material, for example," Mr Schafer said.
In the meantime, Mr von Schweinfurth has thanked volunteers who pick up rubbish.