Thursday, 30 June 2016 09:33

West throwing away $14 million each year

Plastic bottles stacked for recycling. Plastic bottles stacked for recycling.

Western Sydney residents are throwing away $14 million each year the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has found.

“That is the amount of money local councils spend managing litter in parks, road sides and other public spaces across Western Sydney,” said WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti.

The finding comes after ten Western Sydney councils united to develop a Western Sydney Regional Litter Plan 2016 – 2021, thanks to funding from the NSW Environmental Protection Authority.

“Individually, councils knew they were spending a lot of money keeping their communities clean, however this is the first time that councils have come together to measure exactly how much we are littering as a region,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

The review also revealed the most prevalent types of litter (cigarette butts and food and drink packaging), as well as key litter hotspots (CBD locations, recreational parks and roadsides).

“Establishing this kind of collective baseline data is essential if we are going to take a strategic approach to litter reduction,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

The Western Sydney Regional Litter Plan proposes a number of projects to tackle these issues over five years, and will use a multi-pronged approach involving: education; infrastructure; regulation and enforcement; and monitoring and evaluation.

“Tackling litter at the regional level makes sense. Western Sydney residents live regionally. We travel from north to south and east to west, often on a daily basis,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Reducing the amount of litter on arterial roads, at public transport stations or CBD lunch spots will require all councils to work together to ensure maximum impact in waste education and enforcement efforts,” he said.

“Each time someone tosses a drink can, chip packet or cigarette butt, they are essentially throwing away money that could be much better spent improving local roads, public facilities, or community programs.

“That is why councils are so committed to reducing litter, and why Premier Mike Baird has set a Premier’s Priority target of reducing litter across NSW by 40 per cent by 2020,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

The Western Sydney Regional Litter Plan was developed in consultation with a working group of council officers from ten local councils.

Participating councils include: Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith and The Hills.


Related content:

Western Sydney Regional Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy (2014 - 2017)

News story: Shop Cook Save kicks off in Parramatta (Published 30 June, 2016)

News story: Councils eligible for refund under Container Deposit Scheme (Published 31 May, 2016)

News story: Joint waste initiative hits the road (Published 28 April, 2016)

News story: WSROC awarded for CALD asbestos campaign (Published 28 April, 2016)



Last modified on Thursday, 30 June 2016 09:51