Next Sunday, March 4, is Clean Up Australia Day – a day when Australians volunteer en masse to clean up their local communities, parks, bushland and waterways.
Clean Up Australia Day started in 1989 when Sydney resident, Ian Kiernan, got a group of people together to remove rubbish from Sydney Harbour.
Some 30 years on, around half a million people will roll up their sleeves to participate in Clean Up Australia Day in 2018.
Litter is not only unappealing to look at, it is a huge cost to the community.
Collectively, Western Sydney councils spend around $14 million each year on litter management.
That is a lot of money that could otherwise be used to provide better services to the community.
So what is all this litter, and where does it come from? An audit conducted by WSROC councils found that cigarette butts were the most commonly littered item in Western Sydney, making up over half of all litter.
Plastic beverage containers (13 per cent) and paper (11 per cent) are other commonly littered items.
No matter what its size or shape, at the end of the day litter comes from people.
Clean communities can only happen when individuals make a simple choice to do the right thing and put their rubbish in the bin or take it with them where there is no bin available.
Parks and public places are a big part of what makes Western Sydney a wonderful place to live, and we all have a role to play in looking after them.
So why not register for a clean-up in your local area? I urge you to become part of the solution by getting involved in making your community a better, cleaner, healthier place.
To find a Clean Up Australia Day site near you, or create to your own visit: https://cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/
Councillor Stephen Bali
- Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) represents nine local councils in Western Sydney. WSROC advocates on behalf of its councils and their residents to ensure equity in infrastructure and services, to promote livability and quality of life. It seeks to deliver value to councils through regional collaboration in coordinated procurement, IP and shared services, and manages a number of regional projects funded jointly by its members or from external sources.