THE Whipstick forest is being inundated with hazardous rubbish, as bushwalkers warn the amount of dumping is ruining the natural environment.
The area has been declared an area of concern by Parks Victoria, with clean-ups and patrols being ramped up.
A brief visit through the forest area yesterday afternoon uncovered multiple mattresses, tyres, toys, asbestos-filled corrugated sheets in old mine shafts and remnants of other household waste.
Eaglehawk resident Marg Glohe goes metal detecting in the Whipstick bushland several times a week and said more piles of rubbish had been cleared in recent days.
Mrs Glohe said the issue of dumping was “unbelievably bad” and getting worse.
“There’s not a day that I go in there where there’s not a new pile of rubbish,” she said.
“Parks Victoria have done really well to clean it up but it’s alarming how often people are driving into the bushland, mostly at the dead of night, to abandon their waste. A lot of it is stuff that can be recycled. It just beggars belief.”
Mrs Glohe started a Facebook page last year called “Care For The Whipstick” to create awareness of the illegal dumping of toxic and waste materials.
She said people had shown a strong level of support for the page and prompted ideas to deter people from dumping.
Hard rubbish collections and a program where residents are given one or two free trips to the tip with their rates notice were some of the suggestions raised.
“It’s clear that with tip prices going up, it’s driving people to think they can just get it out to the bush. It’s thoughtless and it’s damaging the natural environment. It’s a lack of education.
“People think it’s OK but we need them to know that it’s not OK.”
Parks Victoria ranger Mark McKimmie said the Whipstick area of the Bendigo Regional Park had been identified as a site of growing concern.
“It has been frustrating of late to see places in our parks – the Whipstick in particular – looking a real mess.”
Illegal rubbish dumping can be reported to Parks Victoria by calling 13 19 63.
● Have you noticed a rise in rubbish dumped in your area? Contact the Bendigo Advertiser on 5434 4470.