The latest regional litter program from the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has been a success: there is no ifs or butts about it.
The Bin Your Butts program – which ran between March and September 2018 – included the installation of 11 new cigarette butt bins, as well as a range of community education and enforcement activities across the eight participating councils including Fairfield.
The end result was a a 46 per cent reduction in cigarette litter across key western Sydney shopping strips.
WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said it was a “very positive outcome” and is part of ongoing efforts to tackle western Sydney’s $14 million per year litter clean-up bill.
“Cigarettes may seem small, but they make up the majority of litter across our region . Each time someone drops a cigarette on the ground, they are diverting resources away from important work like bush regeneration, community centres, public parks and footpaths,” he said.
“These results show the western Sydney community is embracing these new butt bins and demonstrates that most people do care about keeping their community clean.” In addition to new bins, councils employed a mix of street performers, multi-lingual educators, street art and enforcement officers to raise awareness about the importance of disposing of litter correctly.
Designated trial ‘smoking areas’ were also installed at several locations.
Council rangers issued 23 litter fines and spoke to 101 smokers about correctly disposing cigarette butts during the campaign.
“While we do not encourage residents to smoke, we do encourage them to dispose of their butts responsibly,” Cr Calvert said.