Dozens of residents across the Shire have used the nation’s largest community-based environmental event to tidy the Shire and in the process collect 1.3 tonnes of litter across the Highlands.
“That’s the equivalent in weight of a small car,” said Council’s Sustainability Project Officer Kimberly Elliot.
The rubbish was collected from a total of 17 registered sites across the Shire on Sunday March 6 as part of national Clean Up Australia Day.
Clean Up collections were staged in Alpine, Berrima, Canyonleigh, Colo Vale, Glenquarry, Hill Top, High Range, Mittagong, Moss Vale and Penrose.
Anne Quessy, Member of the Hill Top Community Association and coordinator of collections in and around Hill Top said she was surprised with the type of waste collected on the day.
“The most frequent items collected included confectionary wrappers, cardboard coffee cups and drink and takeaway containers,” she said.
“But when you look closely at the contents and litter pattern it would appear much of the waste is the result of repetitive behavior,” Ms Quessy added. “It’s quite possible these are the actions of the same offenders.”
Over at Whytes Creek in Moss Vale local coordinator Lyndal Breen collected similar items of litter.
“Each year we register the same site and every year we collect the same rubbish,” she said.
“Litter at the top of the creek flows to the bottom and accumulates along the entire length of the creek,” Ms Breen said. “I think people forget that our street drains flow to local creeks and waterways.”
Ms Elliot said a few simple actions could help reduce waste.
“Putting cigarette butts in a butt bin and keeping a rubbish bag in your car’s glovebox are just a few simple steps we can all take to reduce public litter,” she said. “It’s really not difficult to take your rubbish home with you.”
Sunday’s collection brings the total amount of waste collected over the past four local Clean Up Australia Day events to almost 12 tonnes.
Clean Up Australia Day was supported by Council via the Environment Levy with bagged waste collected free of charge from registered sites and transporting to Council’s Resource Recovery Centre.
For more tips on how to reduce or report waste visit the NSW EPA website at www.epa.nsw.gov.au. Here you can also download the free Hey Tosser! mobile phone app which allows users to lodge a report about littering from vehicles.
To report an illegal dumping site visit the RID website at ridonline.epa.nsw.gov.au or phone the EPA Environment Line on 131 555.