Used nappies and toilet paper, burnt-out lawnmowers, and empty alcohol cans were left strewn across a popular Masterton swimming hole, disgusting regular swimmers last week.

Masterton woman Jade Cvetkov and a friend ventured down to Double Bridges in Opaki for a swim on Christmas Eve.

They were shocked at the sight of the rubbish left by previous swimmers.

The pair went on to pick up a couple of large bags full of rubbish, she said.

Rubbish along the river’s edge at the popular swimming hole, Double Bridges. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

“There were nappies which stank, but so much has blown into the trees along the river line now.

“People have gone down there and lit fires . . . there was even a lawn mower.”

Miss Cvetkov said while they swam in the river, they could smell the odour from the used nappies and toilet paper that lay long the river’s edge, while some empty cans bobbed in the water.

For a local who swims there every summer she had never seen the area that messy.

What annoyed Miss Cvetkov most was most of the items left behind were recyclable and could be taken to a recycling centre for free.

Mess at the popular swimming area became a Times-Age headline over a decade ago after members of the public, and then councillor Roddy McKenzie, wanted action taken on the dumping of rubbish.

Masterton District councillor and environment advocate Chris Peterson said the rubbish issue at Double Bridges has been a worry for many years.

Putting extra rubbish bins out would come as an extra cost to ratepayers, and may not resolve the issue, he said.

“The people who are likely to leave rubbish may not use rubbish bins.

“It’s a pity that people have to trash places where others go to get away from urban life and back to nature,” he said.

He said the rubbish left at the Double Bridges swimming spot seemed to be worse than other river spots around the area.

The longer-term goal would be to educate people that their rubbish was their responsibility, he said.