Communities from Ballina to Bega and everywhere in between will share in $1.8 million NSW Government funding to reduce littering in their areas.
James Griffin, NSW Environment Minister announced more than $1.8 million in grants for 35 litter prevention projects across the state as part of the Litter Prevention Grants Program. The program is part of the Waste Less Recycle More initiative that has already reduced litter across the state by 43 per cent since 2013.
The Friends of Freshwater and Operation Straw will receive $14,600 and $11,000 respectively as part of the program.
“These grants have played an enormous role in the statewide litter reduction achieved since the program was launched under the Waste Less Recycle More initiative in 2013,” Griffin said. “This year’s grants will build on our recent successes through innovative local initiatives including solar smart bins, butt litter bins, ‘swap and go takeaway’ container schemes, and a range of awareness campaigns.
“Grassroots organisations such as Friends of Freshwater and Operation Straw know better than anyone where local litter hotspots are and how best to tackle the problem. That’s why we award grants to support litter efforts at a local level.”
The Friends of Freshwater project will target litter in three hotspot locations including a carpark, reserve picnic area and ocean lookout bench. The project will seek to reduce 60 per cent of littered items through community clean-ups, an education campaign targeted at local businesses and community members, and community monitoring and reporting on new litter. It will also target local takeaway food outlets to reduce key littered items at the source and use the Total Environment Centre’s Ocean Action Pod for interactive community education on the impacts of litter on the environment.
The Operation Straw project aims to reduce takeaway packaging littering through education and awareness strategies targeted at local hospitality businesses. School engagement programs will also aim to reduce littering by young people.
“Previous projects like #Take3For NSW, working with National Parks and Wildlife Services, have successfully tacked litter at three tourist locations with an online litter prevention toolkit for tourism operators,” Griffin said. “The Cooks River Alliance joined forces with the River Canoe Club of NSW and collaborated with school, council, business and community groups to create a long-term litter reduction plan for the Cooks River.
“These grants have been very successful in helping community groups develop strategies and build capacity to prevent litter in their local areas. And overall, grant-funded projects have achieved average litter reduction at the targeted areas by 70 per cent. We know once litter is cleaned up it is less likely to return. Grants awarded in the round six program have already made an impact in their communities.”
The grants of up to $150,000 per organisation were awarded in four streams: Council Litter Prevention Grants Program, Litter Regional Implementation Program (for Regional Waste Groups), Community Litter Prevention Grants Program and Cigarette Butt Litter Prevention Grants Program (including for businesses and government agencies)
“I look forward to seeing the results of these projects in the coming months,” Griffin said.
The Litter Prevention Grants Program supports litter targets in the next phase of the NSW Government’s Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041, which includes targets to reduce plastic litter by 30 per cent by 2025, and 60 per cent of all litter items by 2030.
For more information, visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au/working-together/grants/litter-program