WSROC has a long history of undertaking litter research, managing litter prevention projects and collaborating on a regional level with the councils of western Sydney. We aim to provide guidance and support for these councils in their efforts to combat litter.  

 

Cost of litter to the community

To better understand the impact of litter on western Sydney, WSROC commissioned the Western Sydney Regional Litter Assessment study which analysed the costs of litter prevention and cleanup.   The assessment concluded that the eight participating councils it spent a collective $20,259,000, managing and preventing incorrectly disposed litter in 2021/22. During that same 12-month period, 3,046 tonnes of litter was collected by councils through manual litter picking, street sweeping and via stormwater gross pollutant traps in the region and prevented from reaching our environment. 

 

Community perceptions of litter

In 2022, WSROC commissioned social research of Western Sydney Residents. Over 900 interviews were conducted with people who reside in nine western Sydney council areas. The study found that approximately 61% of western Sydney residents are concerned by the amount of litter they see in their local council area. In addition to this, 24% of the respondents admitted to littering within the last 12 months. The higher-than-expected self-confessed littering rate, combined with western Sydney’s population growth highlights the need for continued investment in litter prevention initiatives.

 

Regional Litter Prevention Plan

In 2023, WSROC and seven participating councils came together to develop the Western Sydney Regional Litter Prevention Plan 2023-2027.Western Sydney Regional Litter Prevention Plan 2023 2027

In addition to this, the Western Sydney Litter Prevention Roadmap 2023-2027 was developed to detail how councils will work together to prevent litter. The Western Sydney Regional Litter Prevention Plan comprises three main objectives and five strategic actions. It seeks to emphasise the importance of litter prevention, motivate councils and stakeholders to enhance their efforts and redirect collective resources towards targetted litter prevention.

The plan includes a Litter Prevention Leadership Program and the establishment of a Taskforce to build partnerships with regional councils, stakeholders and the community. Additionally, a Regional Litter Prevention Officer has been employed to support participating councils. A Quantitative Data Program will provide accurate data for assessing the litter problem and its associated costs. This comprehensive approach aims to strengthen litter prevention initiatives and outcomes within the region.

To assist in funding the actions within the Western Sydney Regional Litter Prevention Plan 2023-2027, WSROC was awarded a $450,000 Litter Prevention Grant from the NSW Environment Protection Authority. The plan aims to achieve the following targets within 5 years:

  • The self-reported percentage of the community who litter will be less than 40%.
  • Takeaway containers and packaging litter in target litter locations will decrease by 5%.
  • Cigarette butt litter in target litter locations will decrease by 5%.
  • The number of new registrations to Report to EPA via the litter portal will increase by 1,000 across our region.
  • Participating councils will increase investment in litter prevention from the 2022 baseline.

 

The Western Sydney Regional Litter Program is proudly funded by the NSW Government.

 NSWGov Waratah Primary 400x293