The environmental price Wollongong pays after Australia Day was clear as residents shared pictures and stories of overflowing bins, discarded refuse, visitors parking within public parks or urinating on their property after enjoying themselves on the city's beaches.
Come Wednesday morning bags were piled up around bins and while much of it was cleared up by lunchtime, rubbish had already been blown by strong winds onto the beaches.
Residents of the northern suburbs took to local Facebook groups to vent their anger at the "grubs" who come to enjoy a beachside visit, then leave it filthy.
One woman said she was abused after asking a group to not bury their rubbish in the sand.
"We are in Coledale - two car loads parked across the road and unloaded all their rubbish onto the footpath opposite our house," said another.
Donna Bennett from Thirroul said she didn't mind people coming to share the beaches but the level of rubbish left behind was too much.
"It's out of control," she said. "If my dog does a poo and there's not a bin I have to hang on to it until I get home. That's what you do."
The situation prompted one wit from Thirroul - Ken's Cones proprietor Ken Murray - to suggest Clean Up Australia Day be shifted to January 27 to clean up after Australia Day.
Part of Glastonbury Gardens in Austinmer was used as an illegal car park, with cars lined up along fences.
The Mercury asked Wollongong City Council if any action was taken against those people, or any others for littering, and whether more bins should have been deployed. The council was not able to answer before deadline.
Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said he had written to the NSW Environment Minister seeking assistance with what he said was a problem shared by coastal cities statewide. With international travel off the agenda people are heading to the coast.
"I share their disappointment - people coming down here and trashing this part of the world," he said. "After all our ratepayers pay 'for the maintenance and upkeep of the city. As far as I'm concerned it's like vandalism."
Cr Bradbery said more bins would also require more staff to service and empty them - which would be expensive considering public holiday rates of pay.
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