Monday, 17 December 2018 15:59

Five councils join forces with state to clean up Parramatta River

Parramatta River working group. Parramatta River working group.

Media release, 19 December, 2018

Western Sydney councils and state government agencies have teamed up to investigate litter flowing into the upper reaches of the Parramatta River.

Coordinated by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), the initiative takes a ‘whole of catchment’ approach to litter, supporting efforts to make Parramatta River swimmable by 2025.

WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “While litter programs have been running for many years, this is the first time baseline data has been collected for the Parramatta River catchment as a whole.

“By collating data from five councils, four state agencies and the Parramatta River Catchment Authority, we found that 200,000 tonnes of litter is prevented from entering the Parramatta River each year due to existing programs including community education, litter trapping infrastructure[1], as well as significant litter collection programs around parks, reserves, shopping strips and commercial areas adjacent to the river.

“However, we found there is still great room for improvement. Approximately 144,000 tonnes of litter slips through the cracks, making its way into the Parramatta River each year”, said Cr Calvert.

“Armed with this new data, we can now look at ways to coordinate work across jurisdictions and close the gap on litter flowing into our river.

“Working together is critical. A cigarette butt or takeaway container littered from a vehicle in Canterbury Bankstown can find its way into the Duck River, flowing through Cumberland, entering the Parramtta River and makes its way out to sea,” he said.

“It is a good thing to keep in mind as we approach the holiday period and spend more time in our region’s parks and waterways.

“Western Sydney has some wonderful natural assets. We all have a role to play in looking after them and it can be as simple as disposing of litter correctly,” said Cr Calvert.

Concerned residents can also report littering from vehicles via the Report to EPA website.

Program participants include Blacktown, Cumberland, City of Parramatta, The Hills and City of Canterbury-Bankstown councils, NSW EPA, Roads and Maritime Service, Sydney Water, Sydney Olympic Park Authority and Parramatta River Catchment Authority. 

This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.


[1] Such as gross pollutant traps, litter racks and litter booms.


Last modified on Monday, 17 December 2018 16:11

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