Where to Dump Your Rubbish in Cape York

We all produce waste that is just a fact of life but whilst we are travelling we don’t have the same level of access to waste management services. It goes without saying if you had room to bring it in, you have room to take it out, but no one wants to spend their whole trip with a smelly bag of rubbish.

Like everything else whilst travelling in the Cape you need to prepare and plan for waste management. There are a few waste disposal options scattered throughout Cape York it is just a matter of knowing where they are and what you can dispose of. In this post I am going to provide you with that information and some resources to help you during your trip.

‘Do the Right Thing in the NPA’ sign located at Seisia Wharf, Cape York.

What waste disposable options are available within the Cape York:

  • Rest Areas and Campground Bins – most have rubbish bins for you to dispose of your rubbish use them. If they are full which is possible at certain times of the year take it to the next bin that has room. There are wild pigs and dogs all through the cape and whilst you think it is ok someone will take it when they collect the bins, chances are a pig or dog will get to it first and the rubbish will be spread everywhere. The rangers that look after these areas try their best to get out a few times a week to empty them but just be responsible.
  • Remote Caged Trenches – There are a few caged trenches located throughout the Cape to dispose of general waste. They are pretty much just a large hole in the ground with a cage over to top to stop people falling and the feral animals. Caged trenches are positioned next to the road for easy access by travellers.
  • Recycling Stations – These are mainly located in the built up areas but there are some at the stations and roadhouses. These are just normal recycling stations and take cans, bottles and some also take paper waste.
  • Landfill/Waste Transfer Stations – These are just your average garbage tips some of these have fees for disposing of your waste others don’t. Most importantly they have varying opening hours so you will need to plan your trip.
  • Collections for Charities – Moreton Telegraph Station collect cans for the Australian Flying Doctor Service. All you need to do is drop them in and they do the rest. The Flying Doctors offer a great service to rural/remote Australia and this is a great way to help them out without too much effort.
  • Containers for Change – This is the Queensland Government container refund scheme. This is a mobile service for 10c refund scheme on bottles and cans. You need to have Containers for Change account to access this service. There are no full time collection facilities and most of these only open once a week for a few hours so once again this is something that you will need to plan around. It is normally a trailer or a cage with the machine that moves around servicing the Cape. Most importantly you need to be registered for the scheme and the money is transferred into your nominated account.

The interactive map below shows the locations of all the facilities throughout the Cape. By clicking on one of the icons it will open up the full details of the facility. There is also a basic pdf version of the map with a table with basic information about the points that can be downloading to your device for reference whilst travelling or print them (but it is better to reduce the waste).

Now unfortunately it has become a fact of life that wherever you go there is going to be waste left behind by someone and it is not something that can be fixed overnight but it is possible for everyone to make a difference by refusing, reducing and reusing what they can out of the waste they produce. Hopefully through education we can make a difference to not only Cape York but all over Australia.

Wet Weather Camping

With a wet long weekend looming over Brisbane I thought I would do a post about wet weather camping. We all have that horror story of a time that you went camping and it was washed out due to a storm or heavy rain. These are the stories that come out when chatting to fellow campers after the sky has turned black and the first drop falls from the sky.

Brendon and I have definitely had our fair share, but as the rain falls this weekend I recount our most recent experience. Firstly, I would like to explain that currently our set up is basic, nothing fancy, just a swag, an awning, couple of chairs, a roll up table and kitchen in the back of the truck.

Last Christmas we packed up and headed to Fraser Island our favourite spot in the world, we knew the weather was not going to be average for the first few days but then clearing as the crowds were returning to work. In the interest in trying something new we set up camp at Coolooli Creek camp ground as the sun set. We drove up and embankment and proceeded to get everything set up, the wind picked up there was a mad rush of fellow campers tying things down and extra guy ropes being smashed into place.

As the rain and wind worsened one by one campers nearby began to retreat to the safety of their beds.

We could see the nearest neighbors a couple and their friend who had a rooftop tent already setup trying to setup a smaller tent for the 3rd person, they struggled to get it up which was a commendable feat. The wind however blew it flat. They would push it back into shape for 15 minutes or so before rolling it into a ball and jamming it in the ute canopy. The third wheel slept on the back seat of their dual cab that night.

As the weathered worsened further the wind whipped at the vehicle awning furiously and it no longer offered protection to our camp chairs from the sideways rain. So, we decided to pack up the chairs and awning and to retreat to the warm and dry safety of the swag. We watched the wild lightening through one of the ends of the swag for hours eventually passing out and did not wake till after 10am. When we got out too survey the damage to my surprise and to this day I don’t know how our pop up ensuite tent was still standing there, proudly surviving the wild storm.

Then we looked along the beach to see it was then we saw the tide was that high that it had been under the swag and nearly to the creek behind us. I’m now not sure if it was exhaustion or gentle rocking of the swag floating that accounted for the big sleep-in.

It had been a king tide overnight, not being our normal campsite and setting up in the evening light we didn’t realise exactly how high the water had been. Or was going to be.

Nearly all of our neighbouring campers in the morning were packing up to beat the tide before the track was cut off at the next creek. It was apparent that most of them had encounter some sort of damage to their property and it was sad to see so many people heading off. We were fortunate that nothing of ours was broken in the storm except the mattress on the swag was a little water logged. We decided with the height of the tide and the weather predictions we would head back over to the eastern beach for a couple of days.

As we drove along the eastern beach we saw the aftermath of the storm with broken gazebos, tents and other gear being dropped off at the rubbish disposal points. It was sad to see that so much damage had been done to people staying all over the island but hopefully it didn’t ruin their experience too much and they still enjoyed their time on the island.

We all know tips about wet weather camping here are two of mine for when you are caught in the middle of a storm or are expecting one.

If it’s not essential pack it up and store it away. The less stuff set up the less there is to be damaged.

Secondly and everyone says this, when you get home or the suns back out, dry all your gear out and then repack it. If you have been near salt hose it off if you can and do this to everything that is suitable as it stops rusting, mould and general wear and tear on your items.