The Flying Toilets

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The Flying Toilets

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 8:05 pm

Do any of the members (or parks guys) know when the Flying saucer toilets are due to be flown out??
The one at Lake Oberon was full of rubbish, And the one at High Moor was spilling (or so im told, was too scared to use it after hearing that)
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby Son of a Beach » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 8:09 pm

I don't know of it's the same time each year, but we watched them swap them out on a "rest day" at Lake Oberon in early December a few years ago (and they were chockers then!).
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 8:17 pm

Nice! I'd have thought it would be a set date each year. Im fairly certain it is only once a year which may need reviewing given the increasing number of traffic places are recieving.
We thought it would be early summer, in preparation for the busy period.


Must have been quite a sight being that close to one being swapped Nik?
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby Son of a Beach » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 8:44 pm

It was interesting to watch. We'd heard the helicopter flying about the range from early in the morning, and during breakfast had seen it go past a couple of times. I thought at first that they must be searching for a missing person. Then just as we were heading out of the Oberon camp site for a quick day walk up Mt Pegasus we saw it fly around behind the mountains, then within the ampitheatre, and then landed right next to us. Two guys jumped out, and the chopper took off again.

We asked the blokes what they were up to, and when they told us, the women-folk in our little group nearly kissed them - even us blokes were feeling mighty pleased to see them. We were spending another day at Oberon, and the tank was a few centimetres from full, oozing with maggots, and filled any clients with the dread of the possibility of splash-back to the gluteous maximus from a full years worth of previous users.

As we progressed up Mt Pegasus, we watched the chopper drop off an empty tank, and then as we were right on the summit, we watched them take away the old full tank, and there was much rejoicing. It later came back to pick up the blokes, who presumably spent some of the intervening time preparing the old tank for lift off, and positioning and restraining the new tank (they appear to be held down like monsters). But they clearly had time to spare, as we could see them from part way up Mt Pegasus wandering along the track and enjoying the beautiful day that it was.

A little later, somebody got to christen the clean tank. Afterwards, there was no denying who's business it was in the bottom of the tank, anyhow.

(It was a fantastic trip that one - 6 days of perfect weather in the Arthurs doesn't happen very often - to me, anyhow - and we were taking it very slow and easy just into Oberon and back, with the wives who are less practiced at such jaunts. So relatively relaxing.)
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 9:01 pm

Ah mate thats an awesome story! I can only imagine how pleased you must have been to get some freshies in! Ive used 2 in my life, one near full one VERY empty. For doing the same "buisness" it's 2 totally different experiences!
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby Binder » Sat 21 Nov, 2009 8:49 am

G'day all

We are planning to replace the full 'Sputniks' out of the Western Arthurs and Mt Eliza in the first week of December, helicopter availability and weather pending. It's an expensive not so pleasant excercise (both using and managing them), but if you picture all the stuff that is in the Sputniks (500 lt) otherwise being deposited in the environment up there, than they are a fair option.

As mentioned earlier, one of our main problems is the dumping of rubbish in the tanks. This makes it a great deal more difficult for us to get rid of the waste as it is contaminated by plastics etc. I am planning on updating some of the signage in the South West to help alleviate the problem, but if you are all able to spread the word, and keep encouraging less enlightened folk about taking their rubbish out with them, that would muchly appreciated.

Cheers

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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 21 Nov, 2009 3:38 pm

Good on you man! I think they are a good idea and certainly would tell anyone i heard of dumping rubbish in them they were idiots!!
there was a note in the book at cygnus saying...."didnt want to throw up in my own lap so we pooed in bags first" i mean really, dont people research what they will be in for..... narrowminded gits!!

Any thoughts on putting a loo at Lake Rhona Binder?? SERIOUSLY needs one there.....
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby Nuts » Sat 21 Nov, 2009 4:38 pm

I guess that if the rubbish makes it difficult to process it isnt just dumped with general household waste.....?

Thereby proving the rumors wrong........ (?)

Care to enlighten us Binder on where the stuff does end up?
Does it go through waste treatment somewhere (as many would expect)...
(sorry, perhaps you dont know -I'll have to search to see if you said who you are somewhere...)
(welcome to bwt :wink: (btw))
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby Binder » Sun 22 Nov, 2009 7:53 am

ILUVSWTAS
Glad you brought up Lake Rhona. We (parks) have someone going up that way next week, and I've asked for some feedback on the toilet situation. I was supposed to be going to look at the issue but didn't work out this time. One of the problems we have at Rhona is that it is a long way from any other other 'Sputniks' that we service, adding greatly to the cost through extra flying time. Seriously looking at the options up there though. It appears that Lake Rhona is getting a great deal more visitation since the Florentine road opened up, making it now a straightforward weekend trip.

As for what happens to the stuff we bring it back ? The full tanks are brought back to the old Scotts Peak quarters near Huon campground, where they are pumped out by a waste contractor, who then takes it to a treatment plant for processing. Apparently there is extra processing/cost involved for removing any plastics etc. Haven't dealt too much with that side of it yet, probably won't either !

I'll post a few pics and details of this years shuttle when it happens, as I know walkers (like rangers) have a fascination for the subject.

P.S Nuts, I'm the new Ranger in Charge for Mt Field and part of the South West....

Cheers

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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 22 Nov, 2009 7:58 am

Good on you Binder!
Nice to have a participating Ranger on board!
Rhona badly needs something. I was up there about 15months ago and it was getting to the point where you were scared to walk around in fear of stepping on something. I can imagine it must be awful in summer. The easier access has certainly made it a more popular destination.

Very interesting about the sputniks, i think they are a good idea and must greatly assist in keeping areas clean :)
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby PeterJ » Sun 22 Nov, 2009 7:40 pm

I also hope something can be done for Lake Rhona. It is one of those spots that nearly everyone who stays there is using the catchment for toilet purposes and much the same is happening at Perdition Ponds in Tasman NP. It may be an option to build a toilet in a safe place (out of the watershed) and construct a track to it.
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby wander » Mon 23 Nov, 2009 10:52 am

Could I suggest you put a sign on on the tanks with the address and details to send $$$ donations for the upkeep of the tanks? I for one would make a donation over and above my Park Permit.
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Mon 23 Nov, 2009 10:59 am

wander wrote:Could I suggest you put a sign on on the tanks with the address and details to send $$$ donations for the upkeep of the tanks? I for one would make a donation over and above my Park Permit.


You could probably just donate straight to PWS?
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby tastrax » Mon 23 Nov, 2009 11:15 am

Good idea - I will put a suggestion forward that you can "donate" at the Parks shop. Maybe with a specific reference to trackwork or huts etc.

http://shop.parks.tas.gov.au/

No guarantees but that would be one easy way.
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby PeterJ » Mon 23 Nov, 2009 1:51 pm

A few years ago I was on a advisory group to PWS and from memory we agreed to recommend that overnight walkers pay extra for the annual parks pass to help with funding of remote facilities, including track maintenance and toilets. Clearly PWS never took up the recommendation (partly because of the introduction of the overland track fee), but I still think it is a suggestion with merit and reasonably sellable to bushwalkers who frequent these areas. It also requires no significant additional administrative burden on PWS to collect etc.
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby Nuts » Mon 23 Nov, 2009 2:13 pm

These particular spots could be good candidates for placement of carry out bags/tubes (less expense, maintenance, impact). No doubt the bulk of people visiting would go to the extra effort.
I can think of a number of places that could 'do with a toilet' though would think it a shame that one was placed at each of them...
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby PeterJ » Mon 23 Nov, 2009 2:31 pm

Nuts wrote:.........I can think of a number of places that could 'do with a toilet' though would think it a shame that one was placed at each of them...


The trouble is as soon as a place becomes popular it invariably gets damaged and degraded from what it once was. I have been bushwalking for over 40 years and have seen it happen regularly. There comes a point where good management intervention is needed and there is no reason why facilities can't be very unobtrusive.

There are other options of course, but many of them are not well accepted by bushwalkers.
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby wander » Mon 23 Nov, 2009 4:41 pm

I will not have time to go the Parks shop this trip as per the previous trip. The transport in and out is all very slick to maximise time out bush and minimise time anywhere else.
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby Binder » Thu 17 Dec, 2009 3:19 pm

G'day all

Just a heads up regarding the 'sputniks' in the Western Arthurs and Mt Eliza. Due to a string of bad weather, and difficulty in getting an chopper, the toilet tanks have not yet been swapped over as planned. The chopper companies have a backlog of work around the state due to the ongoing weather(rain, wind and fires), and it's very difficult to get one at short notice (no need to tell you about weather windows in the Arthurs...) We have booked in to try again next week. Apparently High Moor and Oberon are full, so be warned and do your thing away from the water as usual, until we can get them swapped over.
Thanks for your patience.

Cheers

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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Thu 17 Dec, 2009 3:27 pm

High Moor was spilling when we were there 6 weeks ago.... :cry:
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby tastrax » Mon 25 Jan, 2010 7:43 pm

OK ...everything is lined up...again... for Thursday - I need everyone to keep their fingers crossed for good weather so staff can finally clean up the poo piles! :lol: :lol:

http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/tas/forecasts/state.shtml
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby songairen » Thu 28 Jan, 2010 7:59 pm

tastrax wrote:Good idea - I will put a suggestion forward that you can "donate" at the Parks shop. Maybe with a specific reference to trackwork or huts etc.

http://shop.parks.tas.gov.au/

No guarantees but that would be one easy way.


Maybe local businesses could also be persuaded to sponsor a toilet in exchange for having a little plaque put on them? I'm sure I recall seeming some lovely bush loos with this feature around Vic.
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby Binder » Fri 29 Jan, 2010 1:43 pm

G'day all

Well the stars finally aligned and the sputniks in the Western Arthurs and Mt Eliza have been emptied. The chopper on the day also had to do several airlifts of materials for trackwork at Mt Field, and some work on a fire below Wylds Craig before transporting the crews along the Range. Needless to say the pilot was glad to see the end of the day.

Without going into too much detail, I thought I might share some of the 'extras' found in the tanks. Several dozen of the alfoil dried meal packs (a cetrain brand name that contains the word 'kitchen' seemed popular), several football sized rocks, Chinese food style containers from Haven Lake, a large half full glass bottle of peanut butter, one boot :!: from Oberon, and endless bags of rubbish. All of the above (four garbage bags of rubbish out of six tanks) has to be fished out before the sputniks can be pumped. Next year I am pulling rank ! :D

We have attached signs to the tanks now indicating that they are not for rubbish, so feel free to encourage (by whatever means you think appropriate ) less enlightened folk up there to comply, would be a big help.

Thanks again for your patience.

Cheers

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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Fri 29 Jan, 2010 1:54 pm

Excellent work Binder! A credit to you and your team! all that rubbish.. and rocks?? WT *$&#???
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby tastrax » Fri 29 Jan, 2010 1:56 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: Any volunteers for next years run? Free rubber gloves....
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby PeterJ » Fri 29 Jan, 2010 2:49 pm

Glad to know the task is completed and I reckon PWS ought to fund (where from is another question and my views on that could course a stir) an ongoing education campaign. As tastrax would know the old minimal impact one helped reduce walker impact, but since it stopped things have gradually been going downhill.

Anyway make the message convincing Binder and I hope it works. We need to make people feel guilty for even holding a thought of using the sputniks as rubbish dumps.
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby Michael_Kingston » Fri 29 Jan, 2010 3:32 pm

it never ceases to amaze me how lazy SOME people are - how hard can it be to carry out freeze dried food packs!!!! As for a boot in one of the tanks - i reckon we should have a competition to come up with the best story as to how it ended up there!!!!
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby stepbystep » Fri 29 Jan, 2010 5:26 pm

PeterJ wrote:Glad to know the task is completed and I reckon PWS ought to fund (where from is another question and my views on that could course a stir) an ongoing education campaign. As tastrax would know the old minimal impact one helped reduce walker impact, but since it stopped things have gradually been going downhill.

Anyway make the message convincing Binder and I hope it works. We need to make people feel guilty for even holding a thought of using the sputniks as rubbish dumps.


Great stuff Binder,
and great work from the pilot.
As for Peter's comment - well timed!
I took 2 PET bottles, some alfoil, 1 snaplock plastic bag and 2 clothes pegs :shock: from the highpoint of Cathedral Rock yesterday - very light, but shocking to think someone walked all the way up there and left that crap. God knows what blew off the edge!
As for the boot, maybe that was a baaaaaad accident, can you imagine the walk out! I think I would have left it there, rather than fish it out.
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Fri 29 Jan, 2010 5:59 pm

Hehehe thats an interesting thought SBS... imagine doing the buisness when you accidentally knock yr boot in the can... haha YUKKO!!

Could have been some kind of sick party trick?? Maybe there was a bucks night up there or something??
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Re: The Flying Toilets

Postby Taurë-rana » Fri 29 Jan, 2010 6:09 pm

It's hard to understand the mentality of many people. I've 4 wheel driven to remote places all over Oz including Tassie, and never ceased to be amazed and shocked at the state that people leave such places in. It's hard to understand how you can want to be in a place like that which so often requires huge effort to get there, then trash it.
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