Illawarra picks up litter, finds valuable data

recycling challenge

More than 140,000 items of litter have been collected by volunteers over the past six months thanks to a new kit being championed by councils in the Illawarra region, on NSW’s south coast.

‘Picitup’, a program co-funded by the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC), is an initiative spearheaded by councils keen to tackle the issue of litter around local parks and beaches. It provides a free kit to people in the community to collect rubbish while also allowing local government to collect valuable data on the types of items that are collected.

The kits encourage people to pick up litter on their daily walks and record what they pick up.

Regional Waste Education Coordinator, Yvette Barrs, said the program addresses both the immediate removal of litter from our environmentally sensitive sites and the data supports a focus to stop litter at the source.

‘’We don’t want to just clean up, we want to make our efforts count and find ways to work together effectively,’’ she said.

Over the last six months, more than 900 volunteers have participated and 140,000 items have been recovered from 47 sites.

The Picitup initiative is operated by the Illawarra Joint Organisation of Councils in partnership with the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, the Australian Marine Debris Initiative and local councils.

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