Beaches, waterways and the CBD are being targeted as litter hotspots in a 10-month rubbish blitz across the region.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has embarked on a program targeting litter hotspots including Town Beach, Town Beach Park, the Kooloonbung Creek foreshore, Westport Park carpark and Horton Street.
A number of local businesses have put their hands up to be litter partners, and will help spread the anti-litter message through encouraging their customers to do their bit in helping keeping our community clean, green and litter free.
“It’s great to have Charles Sturt University, Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce, Rydges, Salty Crew Kiosk, Port Macquarie Breakwall Holiday Park, Parkrun and Boomerang Bags all contributing to this important community initiative,” said Mayor Peter Besseling.
“Each year more than 25,000 tonnes of litter is tossed across NSW. This includes around 50 million plastic bags and 7.2 billion cigarette butts, and with the help of our litter partners we can make a real impact in protecting our local environment from this highly visible form of pollution.
“A recent ‘litter blitz’ clean up across the Port Macquarie CBD and foreshore resulted in the collection of 6 wheelie-bins of rubbish in just 2 days,” Cr Besseling said.
As part of the program, new and larger public bins will be installed, signage will be improved, and there will be increased surveillance.
In the early stages council rangers will be providing education and awareness around proper waste disposal, and will work closely with local businesses and the broader community.
Rangers will progressively increase their patrols across litter hot spots and fines will be issued to those doing the wrong thing.
Parkrun event director, Sue Fitzgerald has welcomed the program.
“Every Saturday Parkrun participants walk, jog or run from Town Green along the foreshore. It's a beautiful course but disheartening when we see rubbish so close to the ocean,” she said.
“As a free community event focused on health and wellbeing we see the importance of keeping our public places free from litter to protect our environment and our health.”
“Litter has a negative impact on tourism, but as tourism providers we also see the importance of promoting litter reduction in busy times and we welcome Councils litter blitz to provide more bins in key hot spots,” added Dawn Marchment from Port Macquarie Breakwall Holiday Park.
Council secured $117,200 in funding from the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to roll out a targeted litter program based on the EPA’s four pillars for litter reduction: infrastructure, education, enforcement and monitoring.
Businesses and community groups interested in becoming litter partners can contact Council at pmhc.nsw.gov.au/litter or by calling 6581 8111.