NOT NICE: One of the many photos of dirty rest stops that have been uploaded to the page for sharing.
NOT NICE: One of the many photos of dirty rest stops that have been uploaded to the page for sharing.

Truckies on a mission to tidy up the nation's rest stops

IF YOU'RE sick of stinking rest stops and filthy break areas covered in rubbish, we have the group for you.

More than 500 truckies from across Australia have joined forces to form the "Stinkin' places transport operators park, let's clean up our workplace" club, ready to take on Australia's litterbugs with force.

Mack aficionado and mechanical all-rounder from north Queensland Matty Harkin kicked off the movement one day after coming across an extremely dirty stop and sharing a video of the mess online.

"I've been around trucks all my life but yeah, I just had enough," Matty said.

"There is nothing worse than if you have a problem with your truck and you have to crawl underneath and you find yourself lying in the same spot a bloke drained his morning coffee."

 

Drivers are sick of the mess.
Drivers are sick of the mess.

So in response Matty started a social media movement, which quickly took off, gathering hundreds of members in an attempt to both name and shame litterers and commend clean rest areas while encouraging others to lend a hand.

"I think it is pretty slack on the part of motorists and even caravan travellers to be using these spots to ditch rubbish," he said.

"Lots of drivers do clean up and take their stuff with them but not everyone.

"With only a bit of crap a place can look like a horrible mess but people speeding past don't see it.

"I don't want people thinking 'geez, what a bunch of grubs' when they pull in."

 

Rubbish litters the ground.
Rubbish litters the ground. Uploaded by Paul S

 

Photos of dirty stops continue to be uploaded.
Photos of dirty stops continue to be uploaded.

Matty was clear not to be heaping the blame on the transport industry alone.

"It's about the traveller who isn't used to the long runs, who needs to learn to take it with them," he said.

"People can't expect a bin or a toilet for them way out in the middle of nowhere.

"Truckies are sometimes their own worst enemies too, if they leave this stuff there.

"We are the ones who use it as our lounge room for a night, we are the ones that will be walking around the truck checking a load, checking the machine out."

Matty said he has found a few terrible bits and pieces in his time.

"There are all sorts of things out there," he said.

"I've come across dead dogs, nappies, you'll run into anything along the Bruce Highway."

 

Mack fanatic Matty Harkin is sick of dirty truck stops.
Mack fanatic Matty Harkin is sick of dirty truck stops.

Since its inception the "Stinkin places" group has shared tips, shot photos of other drivers doing the right thing and triggered newcomers to clean up after themselves.

"Rubbish on the side of the road comes down to a lack of national pride," one of the many users posted.

Drivers also continue to post on the page listing some of the nation's best and worst rest areas.

"In that three weeks it seems we have already made a difference," Matty said.

"Blokes are out there on their own time cleaning up, some local government groups have also been on the job too. We will keep making noise."

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