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Horror Stories of a Litter Picker

Updated on August 20, 2017
Stephanie Purser profile image

Founded the 'Keep It Clean Project' in 2015 and has collected and disposed of over 2000 bags of litter since.

Bad Hair Day

Picking up litter every day, you are bound to find the occasional unidentifiable object. But I am still not sure what to make of this. Aluminium foil usually pertains to food or sometimes more illicit substances. But this foil contained.... hair!

Yuck! What circumstances possibly exist that result in a foil wrapped hair ball lying on your child's soccer oval? Do you have a theory about how this might have eventuated? Please share it in the comments. All ideas are applicable!

Bus Stop Briefs

Bus stops tend to collect a bit of litter in general but this one in particular really made me cringe. Located outside of the local shopping centre, it harbors unsightly filth. At the bench shown below, I discovered a swollen tampon, a used condom and yes, those are a pair of feaces-filled men's knickers!

Bong Bonanza

Finding the occasional home made bong is not surprising. But one collection in beach side bushland turned up well over fifty of them. Granted they are all made in the same way I'd assume one person is responsible over a long period of time. I wonder if they know bongs are re-usable?!

Dumped It Asbestos They Could

If you're not familiar with the stuff in the picture below then meet Asbestos! Responsible for 6,492 deaths in Australia between 1997 and 2009, Asbestos was commonly used in the construction of buildings in the 1980's before it became known that it causes Mesothelioma - a form of lung cancer. It now has tough laws surroundings it's removal and disposal.

This picture was unfortunately taken on a dirt bike track popular with young riders who probably don't know the risks of what they are riding on. I made a formal complaint to council and this mess was eventually removed months later. But how would you feel if you knew your child could be potentially exposed? Leave your answer in the comments.

Needles in a Hay Stack

Needles are sadly not an uncommon find. I have discovered them in several locations that should be cause for concern for everyone. The worst place yet to have found them is in the public toilet of a sporting ground mostly used by children.

I discovered a stash of needles on the motorway. A space used frequently by truckers and trail riders, litter covers the place but I wasn't aware until closer inspection of the little nasties lining the ground only metres from passing traffic.

The worst needle discovery I have made yet was Clean Up Australia Day 2016. I was site supervisor and received an urgent call from volunteers at the very back of our site. I followed them through a whole in the fence into the bushland behind. They said they had spotted a needle but looking around my feet, I could see all of us were standing in a pile of them. Sticking up out of the leaves that blanketed the ground was the uncovered heads of needles. And heaps of them! I dare say in the hundreds. Clearly this was a hot spot for injectors. Needless to say, we got the heck out of there, blocked off the entry with caution tape and notified council.

Mystery Specimen

A specimen jar recovered in bush land. What circumstances led to it being there or what it contained is a mystery to me still. Whatever was in it had most definitely changed color in the time it had lay there. It was Grey and black and one of the grossest things I've ever come across yet.

© 2017 Stephanie Purser

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