UPDATE: This event has been postponed until December 2013 due to dangerous materials potentially affecting the safety of participants.
A GROUP of four-wheel-drive enthusiasts is on a mission to clean up the Glasshouse Mountains trails before it's too late.
After receiving a bit of negative attention for tearing up the tracks, Patrol 4X4 members Shane Ryall and Declan Latham want to prove they are not the ones destroying their favourite hangout with illegal dumping.
Later this year the group will begin Operation Clean-up Glasshouse, aimed at removing rubbish, big and small from the public trails.
"We have organised the clean-up as a direct result of the amount of rubbish that is being dumped out there," Shane said.
"At least 95% of rubbish is dumped in areas accessible by a normal ute or someone with a trailer, but we as 4X4 drivers normally get the blame."
The group wants to erase the stigma associated with its club and do its bit for the community.
"We find we are always given a hard time, we just want people to know we are not hillbilly rednecks, ripping everything up out there," he said.
Shane said the worst areas for rubbish were along the Beerburrum, Woodford trails because they were easy to access.
"Larger rubbish such as fridges and washing machines cost too much to take to the tip so they dump it for nothing where they cannot be seen," he explained.
"Mattresses are shocking, anything that costs extra is what you'll find out there."
The group will work with Claytons Towing and police to clean up burnt-out, dumped cars found in the area.
"We want to clean it up so they don't look at shutting it down," Shane said.
While Shane and his mates were offering to clean up the mess, it did not mean they were taking responsibility for it.
"Just because you see someone cleaning up cigarette butts doesn't mean they're the ones who put them there in the first place."
A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman said the council appreciated the efforts of the 4X4 club as it proactively cleans up litter dumped by offenders.
"The vast majority of Sunshine Coast residents do the right thing when it comes to the dumping of their waste and it is only a fraction who take the irresponsible and illegal route of dumping illegally," the spokesman said.
"Unfortunately, the cost of cleaning up illegal dumping is incurred by all residents and council encourages the reporting of offenders for investigation and possible prosecution."
Council provides Sunshine Coast residents with the appropriate mechanisms through transfer stations and landfills to dispose of their waste and the responsibility rests with residents to do so at these facilities.
The spokesman said the costs of managing waste to meet current environmental standards had escalated due to the Government-imposed waste levy and the carbon price. However, he said many illegally dumped items - steel, metals, cardboard, recyclable materials, whitegoods and clothing - were free to dispose of at council landfills.
If you want to join Operation Clean-up Glasshouse visit the Nissan Patrol forum at Patrol4x4.com.