The weekend saw Sydney’s first taste of freedom, but there’s one gross element of outdoor picnics that has left a lot to be desired.
While Sydney locals collectively rejoiced last weekend as a lifting of Covid restrictions allowed outdoor picnics, some have been left with a lingering foulness in their mouths for one gross reason.
The horrid trail of destruction left behind in public parks across the city after the weekend was remniscient of what one might expect in the aftermath of a rowdy music festival.
Images emerged online Sunday and Monday of council bins spewing over with rubbish, many picnickers opting to leave their waste at the bottom at the base of already-full bins.
Scenes of chaos rightfully angered hundreds of Sydneysiders, and with conditions once again looking fine for the weekend ahead, its likely there will be a similar problem.
Furious residents took to social media to vent their frustrations, many sharing photos of unsightly stacks of rubbish left behind by picnic-goers.
“I can’t stand people leaving their rubbish behind. Lazy and disrespectful. It’s bad enough having discarded masks littering our streets,” one person wrote to Twitter.
Centennial Park, in the Randwick Council area, was one of the main hot spots last weekend, with the sprawling grasslands packed to the brim with small groups gathered in tight circles.
A local shared an image of a pile of rubbish a group didn’t even bother moving from where they were sitting, saying the “ring-around-the-bathtub grubs don’t deserve glorious Centennial Park”.
A resident of the Canterbury Bankstown area, in Sydney’s west, had a similar complaint and addressed it directly at the council.
“Our local park was a disgrace this afternoon with rubbish from picnics everywhere and full bins. Can we get some signage reminding people to ‘do the right thing’ and some extra collections?” she wrote in a tweet.
Bins along the Glebe Foreshore Walk and its surrounding parklands were also filled to maximum capacity on Sunday evening, with locals reporting an abundance of rubbish spewing onto the ground around them.
“I’m so glad people are enjoying the picnics down at the foreshore, but I’m shocked and saddened by the huge amount of rubbish being left behind (I’m talking about the rubbish not directly in a bin),” one frustrated local wrote to Facebook.
“I couldn’t believe how much packaging was littering the parkland. A bit of wind and a huge amount will end up in the harbour (or injuring wildlife).
“Yes, we could argue council could install more bins, but I hope people will be more mindful about responsibly disposing of garbage (even if that means your home bins).”
Deputy Lord Mayor Jess Scully confirmed she too had seen the mess and would request that more bins be available to the public in the area, at least for the duration of lockdown.
“It’s just plain and simple laziness and disrespect, I bet they don’t do that to their homes,” one person wrote in a comment.
“Lazy sods. Why would you not just take this home with you if the bin was full?” another wrote.
Centennial Park will be equipped with additional bins this weekend, a spokesperson told news.com.au.
“It was great to see an unprecedented level of picnicking over the weekend, and people safely enjoying the parklands with the easing of restrictions. However this also led to an unprecedented increase in rubbish being left behind,” they said.
“From this weekend, additional collections have been organised at key locations, while staff will also monitor the situation and provide additional resources as needed.
“All visitors to Centennial Parklands are asked to dispose of their rubbish responsibly in the waste stations provided or, if the bins are full, take their rubbish with them.”