Ku-ring-gai residents value a clean, green environment around them. We love spending time in the
great outdoors, in shopping villages, at cafes and restaurants. Ku-ring-gai has a strong sense of
community and want our environment to be clean and safe.
Litter makes an area look dirty and uncared for.
Responsibility for litter rests with all of us, starting with our individual behaviour right through to good
infrastructure that enhances a clean environment.
Cigarette Butts are the most littered item in NSW making up 43% of all littered items.
Unfortunately in Wahroonga, Council found cigarette butts made up 61% of all littered items – significantly above the state average!
There are many reasons why people litter. Some people litter because they can’t be bothered to find a bin. Others litter because it is simply a bad habit they have formed. Or they lack ownership, concern for others or the environment.
One of the keys to long-term behaviour change and reducing litter is to make it easy for people to ‘do the right thing’ by improving physical infrastructure. It also includes repairing or improving the furniture and landscaping.
Did you know 95% of litter on beaches comes from suburban streets, down the street drains and through the stormwater system?
Other reasons to be concerned include:
Litter may be a fire hazard – lit cigarettes being thrown from cars.
Litter, such as cigarette butts, plastic bags and other plastic items harms animals and marine life.
What can be done?
The NSW Government is focussing on litter prevention to reduce the state-wide rate of littering.
Council recently conducted a litter assessment of a number of town centres. Results were mixed with a few centres rated as highly littered.
The assessment made a number of recommendations, in particular, for Turramurra, Wahroonga and the old school area of St Ives.
What are we going to do about it?
The Litter Free Wahroonga project commenced in July 2014 and several actions are planned over a six month period. Collaboration and participation by local business and residents are a key factor to the success of the program. The litter reduction target for the program is a 40% reduction in cigarette litter.
Initial actions will focus on a thorough clean-up of the area and replacement of old infrastructure. These will include:
- Replacement of existing old street litter bins with new bins and, in some sections, new seating.
- A hand collection of any litter in streetscapes and areas that are normally difficult to access.
- The Council’s street sweeper will thoroughly clean all surrounding kerb and gutters.
- The Council’s landscape maintenance team will repair and prune any landscaping pots that are damaged or untidy. Overgrown shrubs and weeds will be removed.
- A steam/pressure clean of all footpaths will be completed and any graffiti removed.
- Council will work with businesses and shopkeepers to help them properly manage their commercial waste.
These actions will be supported by an anti-litter campaign. Council-owned bus shelters will display education materials on litter prevention. Regular updates will be sent through the Council’s various e-newsletters. Information on litter prevention will be available on the Council’s website and Facebook page.
Regular inspections will occur with photographs taken to record improvements and challenges to the project. Education material will be adjusted in response to any challenges that are presented and on-going consultation will occur with the businesses and users of Wahroonga Village.
This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.
View more litter information on NSW EPA's website.