Rubbish must never be buried in the outback - animals will dig it up and then the wind will spread the rubbish all over the place. This also includes toilet paper - if you dig a hole, then you must also burn the toilet waste - covering with soil is not enough.
You should never leave bits of food scraps or unburned rubbish in your campfire
, such as tins and cans. It is certainly ok to thoroughly burn small bits of plastic & cardboard packaging at your campfire
when in remote areas where no rubbish facilities are provided for you, but you should bag and carry all your hard rubbish until you reach a township or property where you can dispose of it properly into bins
or a tip. It is typical for outback tips, even in townships, to burn all their waste so don't be fooled into thinking that is inappropriate for you to lighten your load a little during your travels. It is sometimes necessary. In some areas you may need to plan to carry 2 weeks of rubbish so be prepared with adequate bags or tubs.
ExplorOz is proactive in helping travellers carry out their rubbish and has designed a rubbish bin-bag that can be carried over your spare wheel mounted to the rear of your vehicle, van or trailer. Most people simply tie up their rubbish in plastic shopping bags and drop them into this vinyl carry bag. You can carry a large number of rubbish bags this way and keep smells, flies, and leaks out of your way until a rubbish pit or bin is found. See the Spare Wheel Rubbish Bag in our shop
As in the photo, if the bin is full don't leave more rubbish! Take it with you. We also encourage you to report cases of littering. The Keep Australia
Beautiful organisation has a website where you can dob-in a litterer
Toilets & Bush Drop Pits
Where toilets are provided you must use them. Toilets are placed in areas where there is a significant level of visitors and the environment has been assessed to be unable to handle the impact of toilet waste at that volume.
Where there are no toilets, consider that urine will quickly be absorbed by the ground however repeated use in the same area will create a saturation of smell that is extremely offensive, difficult to get rid of and may unsettle wildlife in the area. The odd urination behind a tree or in open spaces when travelling is not a problem however please consider that some places
only receive rainfall for a few months each year - smells will linger until thoroughly washed away. Please consider where you urinate for the enjoyment of other visitors and also so you may return to enjoy it yourself next time.
If you are camping for a few days in the same bush camp
with a group, then one extremely effective method is to dig a communal toilet pit at least 1 metre deep that can be filled in with plenty of fresh soil on top when you depart. Do not leave toilet paper in the hole however, as dingoes and other small animals will definitely dig it up and it becomes a disgusting mess. You must burn your toilet paper.
Burning of toilet paper for all bush toileting is very important. If you regularly use bush camps where toilets are not provided then we suggest you carry a basic toileting kit and educate your family how to appropriately prepare and leave the "hole". A gas lighter will fit nicely inside a roll of toilet paper - make sure your family members take both when they head off to dig a hole with the spade. Choose a place to dig where the soil is soft enough to get a hole to a decent depth (about 30-50cm), away from waterways, and clear of flamable materials. Gently clear a space to dig the hole, ensuring the area is free of leaves or dry grass with the spade if necessary (without damaging living shrubs or plants of course). When digging the hole, carefully place each shovelful of soil in a pile alongside the hole so that you can backfil when you're done. After you've done your business, take time to ignite the toilet paper (check again for no other flamable material nearby that could catch alight). Take the time to watch that all the toilet paper burns and that the fire is fully extringuished to ash before backfilling the hole with the soil that you had stockpiled. Pat the soil down hard again. Ideally it should be almost impossible to see where you've been if you've done it right. Everyone can learn this technique - kids included. If you aren't prepared to do this - take a porta-potty or camp only in areas where toilets are provided.
It is not surprising that many campgrounds are now requesting that campers bring their own porta-potties. In fact, some operators are not allowing access without a toilet and have units available for hire (such as at Ningaloo
Station on the WA Coast
). These porta-potties are similar to a boat toilet in that they are flushed using a hand-pump into a small storage unit and require a chemical activator to breakdown toilet waste into a slurry. If the solution you use is the environmentally friendly one, then you simply tip this waste into a hole every couple of days. If not using the environmentally friendly solution, you'll need to tip the slurry into a chemical toilet dump point (normally located in caravan parks). For only around $150 these are a practical, comfortable, and eco-friendly solution to solving the problem of bush toilet problems.