Litter free Penrith

Litter free Penrith

Let’s keep Penrith litter freedont be a tosser

One of Penrith’s many attractions is being surrounded by the natural environment, such as the Nepean River. This is something to be proud of, and why it’s important to keep our community clean by taking our litter with us or placing it in a bin.

Penrith City Council’s “Don’t Be A Tosser!” campaign is supported by NSW Environment Protection Authority.

Litter facts

Sometimes, when we think about litter, we think “I’m just one person, so dropping or leaving a piece of litter isn’t going to make a difference!” That’s not true. Over time, every little piece of litter, no matter how small, adds up.

  • Each year, over 25,000 tonnes of litter is tossed in NSW. That’s the equivalent of 3,571 waste truck loads!
  • Takeaway containers are 24% of the litter volume in NSW. 
  • For every Australian, there are 5 pieces of litter on beaches. 
  • 20% of wildlife entanglements are caused by littered plastics. 

Common littered items

In Penrith, litter is seen near fast food premises, sports and playground facilities, along railway stations and bus stops. Bagged dog poo is seen along public reserves, specifically the Nepean River walk and dog parks. 

Common littered items include:

  • Takeaway food and single-use plastic items such as containers, cutlery and straws.
  • Single-use coffee cups.
  • Confectionary and snacks such as wrappers from lollies and ice creams and chip packets.
  • Cigarette butts.
  • Drink containers such as plastic and glass bottles, cans and milkshake containers.
  • Plastic bags.

Why is litter a problem?

While it might be frustrating to be out and about and have some rubbish you want to dispose of and can’t find a bin, it’s even more frustrating what happens when we choose to litter.  

Litter damages our natural environments, harms wildlife, injures people and makes our public spaces less pleasant to be in. Cleaning up litter also costs taxpayers a lot of money. 

People who walk dogs contribute to the amount of litter found in public spaces. There are 1.15 million dogs in NSW. Dogs generate about 227 grams of dog poo each day. This adds up to over 280 tonnes of dog poo being generated each day in NSW. Just 28 grams of dog poo contains 23 million microorganisms of bacteria – nearly twice that of human waste. 

The Nepean River is a natural asset that many people in Penrith engage with, whether it’s enjoying water sports or walking alongside the beautiful vista. People don’t realise that if any litter is dropped on the ground, there are many consequences: 

  • Animals can eat it and become sick.
  • Animals such as ducks can become tangled.
  • People can get injured.
  • When the wind and rain carry litter into storm water drains, it runs out into the Nepean River and pollutes it.

Penalties

Did you know you can get fined for littering? Littering is subject to a tiered range of fines under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997:

  • $80 for littering small items, such as bottle tops and cigarette butts.
  • $250 for general littering.
  • $250 for an individual littering from a vehicle. ($500 for corporations.)
  • $450 for littering in aggravated or dangerous circumstances, such as depositing a syringe or a lit cigarette ($900 for corporations). 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, any person caught littering their facemask will be fined $450. Please make sure you dispose of your single-use masks correctly, and opt for a reusable mask you can wash at home when you can.

What can you do?litterprevention coffeecup

If there isn’t a bin nearby, you can:

  • Bag your litter and place it in the car until you get home.
  • Take your beverage containers to a Return and Earn station and get 10c back for every bottle. All you have to do is collect your bottles, cans and cartons and take them to your nearest return point to earn your refund.
  • Take a bag with you to pick up dog droppings while on walks and dispose of it in your FOGO bin when you get home.
  • Take a reusable cup or bottle with you when you leave the house. Purchasing reusable bottles for water or reusable cups for beverages significantly reduces the amount of plastic left behind simply because you can reuse it over and over!
  • Use the water refill stations.

Water refill stations

Since installing water refill stations in 2018, Penrith has saved 209,968 plastic bottles and 2,688kg of plastic waste from landfill, litter and waterways!

Looking for a water refill station? You can find them at:

  • 2x stations at Jamison Park, South Penrithlitterprevention aluminiumbottle2
  • 1x station at Werrington Lakes Werrington
  • 1x station at Cheds Town Reserve, Glenmore Park
  • 1x station at Victoria Park, St Marys
  • 1x station at Dukes Oval, Emu Plains
  • 1x station at the Kingsway Playing Fields, St Marys
  • 1x station at Cook Park, St Marys
  • 1x station at Cranebrook Skate Park, Cranebrook
  • 1x station at Robin Wiles Park, North St Marys

Plus, many other water fountains and taps can be found at fields across the Penrith Local Government Area.