A new target of 30 per cent reduction in litter levels has been set with the release of the Keep Australia Beautiful Council Litter Prevention Strategy for Western Australia 2020-2025.
The NSW Government is encouraging councils, public land managers and community groups to apply for grants to tackle illegal dumping in their local area.
The grants are a part of the NSW Combating Illegal Dumping Clean-up and Prevention program, which has awarded $6.7 million to projects to combat illegal dumping since the program commenced.
According to Circular Economy and Resource Management Executive Director Sanjay Sridher, illegally dumped waste clean ups costs millions of dollars in taxpayers money each year.
“We want to see as many applicants as possible apply for funding, with previous grants being put to great use to tackle local dumping hotspots,” he said.
“This has included the installation of gates, signs, surveillance cameras and fencing to tackle illegal dumping, along with the removal of thousands of tonnes of illegally dumped waste.
“I encourage any councils, public land managers or community groups that want to tackle an illegal dumping problem in their area to visit the website and apply for one of these grants.”
Funded under the Waste Less Recycle More initiative and administered by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), grants can be used to implement prevention and clean-up action on publicly managed land, or to establish illegal dumping baseline data.
An additional $1.17 million is also available for community groups, councils and businesses to address litter in their local area through DPIE’s community litter and cigarette butt litter prevention programs.
The litter grants can be used to fund a number of litter initiatives including community education and engagement, clean-ups and new bin infrastructure, with programs aimed at addressing littering and strengthening the capacity of communities to take local ownership.
The NSW Government is calling on councils and industry groups to apply for more than $1 million in grants to tackle litter in their local area.
A total of $1.17 million – comprising $670,000 for round six of the Community Litter Grants and $500,000 for the inaugural Cigarette Butt Litter Prevention Grants – is available to councils, businesses and organisations.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said more than 200 projects have been funded under the program, with some recording up to 80 per cent litter reduction in their targeted hotspot.
“Cigarettes butts are consistently the most littered item in NSW every year. I look forward to seeing innovative projects to help reduce the millions of butts littered each year and by doing so, cleaning up our environment,” he said.
According to Mr Kean, the community grants can be used to fund a number of litter initiatives including community education and engagement, clean-ups, new bins, promoting programs aimed at addressing littering, and strengthening the capacity of environmental groups working in the sector.
“Our community groups and councils are fantastic partners to assist with tackling litter. It is local communities who know their litter hotspots and can develop practical and effective solutions,” he said.
The NSW Government has awarded more than $930,000 to councils and community groups under the latest round of litter prevention grants.
Planning, Industry and Environment Department Circular Economy Executive Director Sanjay Sridher said funding has been awarded to 13 local councils in both metro and regional NSW.
“They include cleaning up and preventing litter at transport interchanges in Blacktown, preventing litter at tourist hotspots in Byron Bay and funding for solar smart bins in Forbes, which will send an alert to the council when a bin is full,” he said.
“Nobody likes to see litter in their parks or waterways, and tackling the problem at a local level – through the councils and groups that really know the area – is an effective way to prevent litter for the long term.”
According to Mr Sridher, eight community groups have also received funding.
Projects include reducing plastic at Lake Macquarie Cafes, support for the Airds Clean Up Crew in the Macarthur area and helping Tathra Surf Life Saving Club with its clean-up and litter patrols.
“Now it’s a matter of making sure the right programs are in place to clean-up hotspots and give tossers a nudge when it comes to disposing of rubbish properly,” Mr Sridher said.
The grants program is supported by NSW’s first litter prevention strategy, which sets out actions and timeframes to achieve the state government’s target to reduce the volume of litter in NSW by 40 per cent by 2020.
Waste industry experts and stakeholders have come together in Tasmania to discuss current waste management issues at the Tasmanian Waste and Resource Recovery Forum.
The forum aims to give the waste and recycling industry a chance to discuss issues around waste policy following China’s implementation of the National Sword policy.
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Discussions at the forum focus around waste and resource recovery settings for Tasmania, waste avoidance and reduction, innovations in waste management and bringing a circular economy to Tasmania.
Held by the Waste Management Association of Australia, the forum follows consultation by the Tasmanian Government on its new waste strategy – the Tasmanian Waste Action Plan.
The state government has outlined several commitments and targets to reduce packaging waste, boost consumer awareness through industry, increase recycling capacity and boost demand though market development.
Other targets include making Tasmania the tidiest state with the lowest incidence of litter in Australia by 2023 by increasing penalties for illegal dumping, expanding the reporting of litter offences through an illegal rubbish app, providing additional support for Keep Australia Beautiful Tasmania and using Community Service Orders for rubbish removals from public areas.
The draft of the Tasmanian Waste Action Plan is expected to be released for public consultation in early 2019.
The Queensland Government has released its 2018 State of the Environment report, highlighting interstate waste as a pressure on the state’s landfills.
Relatively low costs of landfill disposal in Queensland are said to be the motivator for cross-border flow of waste in the report.
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More than 1.26 million tonnes of domestic waste, 2.146 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste (C&D), and 1.443 million tonnes of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste was sent to landfill in 2016-17.
Of this, 53,000 tonnes of domestic waste, 640,000 tonnes of C&D waste and 23,000 tonnes of C&I waste was generated interstate and transported to Queensland landfills.
The amount of trackable waste received from interstate also increased from around 13,000 tonnes in 2011-12 to 52,200 tonnes in 2015-16.
Littering and illegal dumping is also highlighted as a serious environmental pressure, with reports suggesting the problem as widespread throughout Queensland.
The average number of litter items was found to be higher in Queensland than other Australian stats, particularly at beaches, retail strips and recreational areas.
Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the increase in the amount of interstate waste was proof that that Queensland needed a waste levy.
“The state government’s waste management strategy will stop interstate waste and increase investment in the industry to encourage more recycling and create jobs,” Ms Enoch said.
The Western Australian Government is planning to roll out a campaign that targets littered cigarette butts and packaging after it was found they made up more than a third of the state’s litter.
Keep Australia Beautiful WA’s 2017-18 National Litter Index (NLI) has found discarded butts were responsible for pushing up the state’s litter statistics with a 21.9 per cent increase in cigarette litter. The butts and packaging accounted for 3376 of the 9550 litter items recorded by the count.
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Littering had increased by 2.6 per cent across WA compared to the previous year’s results, but overall littering was still 21 per cent lower than what had been recorded in 2015-16. Takeaway packaging litter in WA had been reduced by 11.3 per cent, according to the NLI with beverage containers also down by seven per cent.
The NLI is measured twice each financial year each state and territory. Litter across 151 sites within 50 kilometres of Perth’s CBD is measured as part of the index, looking at highways, beaches, retail and shopping areas, car parks, recreational parks and residential and industrial areas.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said cigarette butts are the most littered item in Australia.
“Littered cigarette butts do not break down and are often washed into waterways, causing contamination,” Mr Dawson said.
“They can be mistaken for food by our wildlife and are a blight on the beauty of our state’s natural environment.
“The efforts of the majority are being undermined by the selfish acts of the few who litter. If you are a smoker, please dispose of your cigarette butts responsibly into waste bins. Failing to do this is an offence,” he said.
A litter prevention program will receive a $400,000 funding boost after it successfully reduced roadside litter by around 70 per cent in some roadside locations.
Main Roads WA will contribute the funding towards extending Keep Australia Beautiful Council’s “Put your rubbish in the bin. WA naturally thanks you” campaign.
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The program installs anti-litter roadside signage, bin stickers, and provides 300,000 free car litter bags which are available from roadhouses along selected routes.
The program has been rolled out on the Forrest Highway, Great Eastern Highway and Brand Highway.
Funding from Main Roads WA will enable further enable the rollout of anti-litter signage on WA’s freeways and highways.
Sustainable car litter bags and posters will also be distributed to roadhouses to encourage road users to dispose of their rubbish correctly.
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said Main Roads WA spends around $6 million each year to remove litter from roadsides, with proactive measures far more cost effective at tackling the issue.
“The National Litter Index indicates that roadsides are one of the most littered areas in WA,” she said.
“I am pleased that, through this campaign, we have been able to decrease the amount of litter at some locations by up to 70 per cent.”
WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the successes of the campaign has resulted in a reduction of funding needed for roadside clean ups.
“This is about making motorists think twice before they litter and to take some pride in WA’s precious natural environment,” he said.
Successful applicants for Round 2 of Sustainability Victoria’s $700,000 Litter Innovation Fund have been announced, including councils, businesses and not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises.
Grants were offered in two rounds and provided up to $20,000 for innovative solutions to litter and illegal dumping that are delivered through a partnership.
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The package comprises of two funding streams, projects in the Yarra River and Port Philip Bay catchment and projects outside of these areas.
Successful applicants include Southern Cross Recycling Group, in partnership with the City of Whittlesea and Maribyrnong, for the Mobile Community Resource Recovery Hub, a purpose-built trailer that provides a collection point for small household items and clothing.
Boroondara, Nillumbik and Yarra City Councils have partnered with Connectsus to fund the Binasys project, which will install ultrasonic level sensor technology to provide a live demand profile of each public litter bin.
In an effort to tackle construction litter, Wydnham City Council, Wolfdene Property Development Group, Point Cook Open Spaces and Beach Patrol will use the funding to liaison with developers, builders and tradies using a pledge system.
EPA Victoria and VicRoads will assist the Macedon Ranges Shire Council to install infrastructure at identified hotspots to increase enforcement and behaviour change and reduce illegal dumping through education campaigns.
A roadside litter campaign will also be launched addressing litter from vehicles along major transport routes due to the funding provided to the Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group, VicRoads and local government authorities.
Litter in New South Wales has dropped by 37 per cent since 2013, with drink container litter being reduced by a third since the introduction of the Return and Earn scheme, according to new figures.
A report released from Keep Australia Beautiful has also found takeaway container litter has been reduced by 19 per cent from 2016 to 2017.
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Print and advertising litter has also been reduced by 35 percent from 2016 to 2017.
NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said Return and Earn’s impact can been seen by looking at the scheme coordinator’s figures for the three months from March to May 2018, which show it collected 67 per cent of all eligible containers supplied into NSW in that period.
“This shows the immediate positive impact the container deposit scheme is having on reducing drink container litter, which is the largest proportion of all litter volume in NSW,” Ms Upton said.
“Overall, there has been a 33 per cent drop in Return and Earn eligible drink containers in the litter stream since November 2017 – the month before the scheme was introduced on 1 December.
“On average three million containers a day are being collected at return points. More than 560 million containers have been processed by Return and Earn so far and as more collection points are rolled out, these results can only increase and the amount of litter will decrease,” she said.
Ms Upton said the NSW Government’s commitment of $30 million to 2021 to reduce litter and littering behaviour through the Waste Less recycle More initiative is having the right effect.
“Such a huge drop shows the NSW Government’s range of anti-litter initiatives are working,” she said.
“I encourage the NSW community to continue returning their eligible drink containers and in their other efforts to reduce litter in our communities.”