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No Tossers, Please: The Caravanner’s Guide to Rubbish Disposal

Rubbish. You don’t want it, but how do you dispose of it when you’re travelling? Let’s take a look at the options of rubbish disposal.

A Bin for Everything

Depending on the space you have available, there are bins for inside, outside and even hanging in a tree:

  • Collapsible bins: a collapsible bucket makes a great rubbish bin and reduces to minimum for travelling. Use shopping bags as liners, keep the lid on and hang outside, out of reach of marauding wildlife.
  • Nappy sacks: make good liners or garbage bags. They’re lightweight, easily available and reduce odours.
  • Croc Bin: comes with either a U clamp for attaching to a pole or a mounting bracket for fixing to the exterior of the caravan. It uses standard recyclable grocery bags for liners and has a lid to keep odours in and flies out.
  • Canvas rubbish bags: are available from camping stores or online, and are specifically designed to hang on the spare wheel.

A larger bin or container secured outside the caravan – such as on the A-frame – is ideal for storing bags of rubbish until you can find a bin. Keep bins sealed at all times to deter flies. Use pyrethrin-based sprays if necessary, as some chemical sprays can affect waterproofing.

Unfortunately, many shore birds have learnt to scavenge around caravan parks, beaches and boat ramps, so take care not to leave food scraps, bags, cartons or tins lying around, even for a short time.

Recycle Everything You Can

Squash cans and PET containers, and have separate containers for recyclables and food scraps so it’s easy to dispose of them later. Recyclables are also usually cleaner so they can be stored separately, leaving more space in the garbage bin.

If you’re off-road or free camping, vegetable scraps can be mulched by digging a very deep hole that native animals won’t be able to uncover. Meat and fish scraps must be thoroughly wrapped and placed in a container for disposal in designated waste facilities.

Rubbish Etiquette

  • If you take it in, take it out. Cans, bottles, bottle tops, wrappers, cigarette butts do not degrade over time and will spoil the beautiful pristine camping spot you so enjoyed.
  • When the only available rubbish bin is already full, take your rubbish with you. Dumping it beside the bin attracts birds, dingoes and foxes who will tear open the bags, leave an even bigger mess and possibly harm themselves.
  • Never bury non-degradable rubbish.
  • Remember that plastic bags are prohibited in South Australia.

Unsightly rubbish along our waterways, roads and parks spoils this wonderful land of ours, so make sure you don’t add to it while you’re travelling.

What about that other waste issues? Take a look at our practical guide to caravan toilets.

For more advice on respecting the land while on the road, check out these tips from the Young Nomads.

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