Materials that cannot be avoided, reused, donated or recycled should be disposed of appropriately in your general waste or red lid bin.
Councils provide a kerbside collection service for items such as food scraps, nappies, plastic bags and broken glass. Items that should not be placed in your bin include building waste, batteries, low energy light bulbs and liquid waste such as paints and oils.
Litter is any material that is not appropriately disposed of which may become harmful to the environment or human health.
Litter harms ecosystems and our natural environment, makes our community aesthetical unpleasant and is linked to other anti-social behavours such as graffiti.
Every piece of litter has the ability to pass through storm water systems and directly out into the ocean, where it will slowly be captured by oceanic currents and added to the garbage patch, that is, a substantial floating debris pile in the North Pacific Ocean.
There is beginning to be a strong link between the patch, an increase in animal mortality and an increase in toxin levels in humans due to eating marine life that has ingested high levels of toxic plastics and polymers that form part of the garbage pile.
The estimated net cost of litter to the NSW economy is over $162 million, so the NSW Premier has announced a State Priority to reduce the volume of litter by 40% by 2020.
The Hunter Region Litter Plan is supporting this target to be achieved in the Hunter through two projects:
- Litter Matters – developing baseline litter indicators within councils
- Recreational Parks – addressing litter prevention in council managed assets.
You too can help reach this target through the following small acts:
- Remember to Take 3 every time you go somewhere such as the beach or the lake, pick up three pieces of litter;
- Volunteer to help out at your local Keep Australia Beautiful or Clean Up Australia Day events;
- Take an empty bag with you when you go to the park or beach to keep your litter in;
- Pick up after your dog;
- Take the time to make sure your litter actually makes it to the bin – missing is still littering;
- Use council litter and recycling bins for small items only – not for business or household waste;
- Pick up footpath rubbish instead of sweeping or hosing it into the gutters;
- Cover waste in a trailer or ute to stop it blowing away;
- Report littering from vehicles.
Illegal dumping is the depositing, dumping or tipping of waste larger than litter onto land or water. Illegal dumping can range from small bags of rubbish in an urban environment to larger scale dumping of waste materials into bushland. Waste can include construction and building materials, green waste, furniture, asbestos and car parts.
Illegal dumping has significant impacts on the environment. It degrades the land, destroys bushlands, reduces biodiversity and its run off can contaminate soil and water resources. Illegal dumping reduces aesthetic amenity, attracts rodents and can lead to further dumping and other anti-social activities. NSW local governments are estimated to spend $10 million a year on recovering and disposing of illegally dumped materials.
Did you know that anyone can report littering from vehicles? Fines from $250 apply, and over 21,000 NSW residents have already registered to report it.
To report littering from a vehicle you need to:
- have actually seen the litter being thrown, or blown, from the vehicle
- provide the vehicle registration details and the location where the littering took place
- report the incident within 14 days
Each year over 25,000 tonnes of litter is tossed in NSW. You can be part of the solution – if you see litter thrown, blown or dropped from a vehicle, report it at http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/reporttoepa
Dispose of all waste appropriately
Councils provide a variety of services ranging from bulk collection services to tip vouchers and drop off days.Find your local service
Report Illegal Dumping
Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) squads are regionally based teams that specialise in dealing with illegal dumping. They are funded by the NSW Environment Protection Authority and their member local councils. You can report illegal dumping by phoning 131 555 or online at:
In Port Stephens phone 4980 0255.