High cost of litter prompts new plan for Western Sydney

litter plan

An ambitious Western Sydney-wide litter reduction effort has been awarded $450,000 by the NSW Environment Protection Authority through the Litter Prevention Grants Program.

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) and seven participating Western Sydney councils will team up to action the Western Sydney Regional Litter Prevention Plan 2023-2027 for maximum co-ordinated effect.

The seven participating councils are Blacktown City, Cumberland City, Fairfield City, Hawkesbury City, The Hills Shire, Liverpool City, and City of Parramatta councils.

Litter costs Western Sydney residents more than $31 million dollars each year, with councils cleaning up and disposing of truckloads of littered items across the region.

“The most littered locations are roadsides, carparks, recreational parks, shopping strips, and train stations.  However, our creeks, rivers and other waterways are also seriously impacted by littering,” said WSROC President,Councillor Barry Calvert.

“Along with cigarette butts; food packaging, and takeaway containers, including coffee cups, are the most littered items in Western Sydney.

“Only 55 per cent of waste disposed in public places was correctly disposed, leaving councils to clean up the whopping 45 per cent of rubbish littered in our region.”

Under the new Western Sydney Regional Litter Prevention Plan, WSROC will work in partnership with the NSW Environment Protection Authority and the seven councils to develop co-ordinated litter prevention messaging; identify standardised litter management approaches; increase the community’s personal responsibility to prevent litter; work with other landowners and retailers to implement measure to prevent littering; and support councils with resources, knowledge, monitoring and evaluation, among other tasks.

“This new Western Sydney Regional Litter Prevention Plan responds to the needs of our seven participating councils, who serve Australia’s most culturally diverse and fastest growing region with a population of over 2.6 million people and more than 191,000 businesses spread across about 9000 square kilometres,” said Calvert.

“Much more than just an eyesore, litter degrades the environment, endangers wildlife, contaminates soil and water with chemicals, and the financial costs are borne by our communities.”

There are three major catchments in Greater Western Sydney – the Parramatta, Georges and Hawkesbury rivers – fed by a large number of drains and tributaries that carry litter into these river systems and the public recreation areas along them.

The project is a NSW EPA Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy initiative, funded from the Waste Levy.

For more information, visit: www.wsroc.com.au

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