Monday, 18 May 2020 10:43

WSROC litter campaign cleans up

WSROC President Clr Barry Calvert with performance artists at Richmond Park. WSROC President Clr Barry Calvert with performance artists at Richmond Park. WSROC

Media release, 18 May 2020

Six councils in Western Sydney have achieved remarkable results from a targeted anti-litter campaign over the summer, which focused on takeaway packaging and beverage containers left in local parks and public spaces.

Participating councils collectively saw an average reduction of 71% in litter counts, and a 95% reduction in overall litter volume. The most improved site during the campaign achieved 86% reduction in littered items and 99% reduction in volume of littered items.

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Barry Calvert, said “These results are even better than expected. The success of similar projects led by WSROC Waste Team just shows what can be achieved with regional collaboration. Participating councils work hard to provide clear messaging around public amenity issues, including waste; in this instance, our region has more clean and user-friendly public spaces to show for it. An excellent project and result.”

Led by WSROC, council waste teams selected a program of communications tools and infrastructure suited for their community, with options that included street performers and multilingual educators, to reach a broader segment of community members and park users.

New bins and signage were installed, and digital roadside displays were used in two locations to reinforce the message: ‘You can get fined for littering’, and ‘Don’t Be A Tosser’.

Street performances engaged the whole family – on the banks of the Nepean at Tench Reserve, Blacktown showground, busy Bunnings car park at Rydalmere and in Richmond Park– with multilingual educators chatting with more than 300 people in the cities of Hawkesbury, Blacktown and Fairfield.

Project spokesperson Wendy Xing of WSROC said “Street performances are very effective in reaching families who are frequent users of parks. Children respond to creatively-themed characters such as Litteratti and Fin the Litter Fish; the relaxed approach really suits the location and helps connect with older family members too.”

“We were also pleased with the impact of our multilingual educators this year. We conducted 22 hours of English/Arabic, English/Tamil, English/Vietnamese, English/Mandarin and English/Hindi education, reaching people in the community who may not have otherwise accessed the messaging,” she said.

Western Sydney is highly responsive to messages around litter reduction, with previous WSROC campaigns producing strong results: a 46 per cent reduction in regional cigarette butt litter and increased positive disposal behaviours of an astonishing 88 per cent. Since it launched in 2013, the EPA’s ‘Don’t Be A Tosser’ campaign showed state-wide impact of decreasing litter volume by 37 per cent.

Over the summer, participating councils installed bin stickers, pavement decals and picnic table stickers in strategic locations throughout public spaces and highly-frequented areas, to ensure that community members know they can get fined for littering and to encourage a responsible attitude toward takeaway packaging.

WSROC President Barry Calvert affirmed that the project was close to realising its aspiration for permanently cleaner public places in Western Sydney.

“These results are a great reflection of the Waste Team’s efficacy in their projects and targets. The goal is to reduce waste and to encourage a sense of community investment in keeping our spaces clean. The success of this campaign shows that our communities are willing to take responsibility for personal waste and that they have taken on the message – Don’t Be A Tosser.”

Participating councils include: Blacktown, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith


Media contact: Kate O’Connell or Kelly Gee, e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., t: 02 9671 4333

Last modified on Wednesday, 20 May 2020 11:14

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