REVEALED: Gross discovery in Gladstone drains
IN JUST 12 weeks 1589 cigarette butts were found in nine stormwater drains in the Gladstone CBD.
The discarded cigarettes were found during Fitzroy Basin Association's first audit of the nine Drain Buddies that were installed in the Gladstone CBD in June.
The drain buddies - heavy duty baskets that trap litter in stormwater drains - were installed as part of a Local Action Community Reef Protection Grant with the aim of providing insight into what residents were throwing away, to help guide future rubbish reduction campaigns.
The audit found during the first 12 weeks 1589 cigarette butts were collected in the nine drains.
FBA science engagement officer Dan Rea said a promising find was the lack of plastic straws.
Cigarette butts and plastic packaging and film were the main types of litter found at all Central Queensland drain buddies.
"I was expecting to see a lot of plastic straws, but they were hardly represented," he said.
"A few years ago that wouldn't have been the case."
Mr Rea said the findings provided an opportunity for residents, particularly smokers, to re-educate themselves about rubbish.
"Perhaps because (cigarettes) are small people don't often think it's an issue, but it clearly is," he said.
Mr Rea said the 12-month trial had already shown some interesting results that would help guide future education programs.
He anticipates that because of the wet season, even more rubbish could be collected before the next audit, in December.
"That's an interesting factor, given we've had so little rain over the 12-week period and we've still caught all of that rubbish," he said.
"If we do get rain during the next few months it'll help flush out more rubbish from other areas."