Meet the man who fishes guns and needles from our rivers

WHAT do a shotgun, hundreds of needles, plastic bottles, oil drums and gas bottles all have in common?

They've all been taken out of local waterways by river cleaner Glenn Rumsey.

While the winding Burnett River looks picturesque from the bridge, a closer look amid the mangroves and beneath the surface shows a littered and disgusting reality - one which is all too familiar to Mr Rumsey.

Having cleaned up parts of the river from October to June, Mr Rumsey said he has picked up everything from needles and plastics to guns and even a car in the region's waterways and he's "over it".

Mr Rumsey said it was time that there was a consistent maintenance initiative in place to keep the rivers clean, rather than responding to complaints of rubbish.

Mr Rumsey said he was tasked to clean up various parts of the river and the hauls from the river were surprising for Bundaberg.

Gas bottles, drums of oil leaking, thousands of prescription bottles, hundreds of needles, plastic bottles and bags, countless shoes and thongs, dying fish in abandoned traps, hot water system tanks, fridges, tape and tyres are all types of rubbish Mr Rumsey has removed from the river recently.

Mr Rumsey said he found a 12-gauge shotgun on the rocks at Kirby's Wall which was handed in to the police, and a car in the swimming hole at Dr Maye's on the Elliot River under a tree rope.

He said while some of the rubbish was debris from the floods, it's time to take the cleaning of the river seriously.

The mangroves are often regarded as natures filter and they have been riddled with the rubbish with the incoming and outgoing tide.

Mr Rumsey said he didn't believe there was any excuse for funding or time that justified the state of the river any more.

With houses in proximity to the river, he said there was a concerning amount of needles which could be pass on diseases to anyone unfortunate enough to come into contact with them.

He said in one instance he found 200 needs in a 400m area.

While Mr Rumsey said he doesn't think people are directly throwing needles in the river, it's certainly where they end up after being left in gutters or dropped down drains.