Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has wrapped up a successful ‘litter blitz’ initiative with the enthusiastic help and support of local residents and the business community.
Commencing in April 2016, the litter blitz has seen litter reduce at six project sites by over 50 per cent, including more than 1 tonne of litter being collected from beaches, parks and reserves.
The campaign included ongoing litter education and awareness programs, the installation of new and larger public bins, improved signage and increased surveillance by council staff at litter hotspots such as Town Beach and Westport Park in Port Macquarie.
“Litter has negative impacts on local tourism, damages our natural environment and the cost of cleaning up is paid for by the community,” said director Matt Rogers.
“The litter blitz initiative has been a significant step forward in managing the ongoing problem of litter, and the results have highlighted the importance of community effort, education and enforcement in helping to keep our region litter free.”
As part of the program, over 200 surveys were completed by residents, providing valuable community feedback on improvements that can be made to prevent litter locally.
The Seaside Scavenge event held at Town Beach in November 2016 saw more than 259kg of rubbish removed in one day.
Patrols of known litter hot spots were also undertaken by council rangers during the campaign resulting in 118 people caught littering.
Council secured $117,200 in funding from the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to roll out the targeted litter program.
“Council would like to thank local residents and businesses who participated in the litter blitz, and encourages everyone to continue to do the right thing in keeping our public spaces clean and tidy,” Mr Rogers said.