EPA grant yields more bins and community in Macleay asked to reduce litter

Don't be a tosser: Council used an EPA grant to install public bins like this one to encourage the community to do the right thing, especially along roadsides.
Don't be a tosser: Council used an EPA grant to install public bins like this one to encourage the community to do the right thing, especially along roadsides.

Kempsey Shire Council has been working with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) on a number of waste education programs to reduce the amount of litter across the Macleay Valley.

One of Council’s latest programs focused on targeting litter on roadsides and verges, particularly in south and west Kempsey, where litter levels were high.

Council used an EPA grant to install signage, public bins, and get professional litter clean-up and conduct community clean-up events to engage locals with the problems caused by litter.  

The Kempsey Family Community Centre assisted with promotion of the events and community engagement while NSW Health’s Regional Aboriginal environmental health project officer assisted with audits. 

The results were impressive with an 82 per cent reduction in litter volume and a 67 per cent reduction in littered items in hotspot areas.

There was also a 127 per cent increase in community registrations to the Report to EPA system and a 47 per cent increase in litter reportings.

Council also doubled the number of partner organisations collaborating on litter prevention during the campaign.

Council’s waste education officer Gavin Hughes said, while the results were positive, there is still more work to do. 

“The results show that the community can really get on board with reducing litter, so we are calling on all locals who care to register to report littering from vehicles to reduce littering everywhere,” Mr Hughes said.

“By having more residents report tossers it sends a strong message that littering is no longer tolerated in our community and if you litter you will get caught.”

Over 38,000 reports of littering from vehicles were made, demonstrating that many members of the community care about keeping our environment clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.

To find out more, visit: epa.nsw.gov.au/dontbeatosser.

To help locals collect litter, Midwaste’s free Picitup kits are still available at council’s customer service centre.

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