The festive season is almost here and with more and more people coming to visit our beautiful region, we’d like to remind residents to keep our towns, parks and bushlands clean and dispose of rubbish the right way.
Littering from vehicles and on our streets is an issue that won’t be tolerated as not only is it bad for our environment, but it just looks bad to both locals and the millions of tourists who visit our region.
Roadside litter in particular is one of our region’s most unnecessary and preventable environmental problems. In the Cessnock Local Government Area last year alone, ‘Adopt a Road’ groups collected a whopping 14.4 tonnes of waste and in NSW as a whole, 25,000 tonnes of litter is tossed annually.
With summer and the fire danger period fast approaching, throwing cigarette butts from vehicles is also an issue, not to mention extremely dangerous.
There are a number of simple ways that you can help to prevent litter including keeping a bag in your car to collect rubbish and cigarette butts; putting cigarette butts out and in the bin; putting your rubbish in the bin or take it with you; encouraging others to pick up their litter; making sure your load is covered to prevent windblown litter; and taking part in anti-litter campaigns by liking and sharing content on your Facebook page.
Another key way you can make a difference is if you see someone littering from their vehicle, report it to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). All you have to do is visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au/reporttoepa, register and report it – it’s that simple! You just have to make sure it’s reported within 14 days of the incident and you are able to provide the vehicle registration details and the location where the littering took place.
The EPA can issue fines of $250 for an individual and $500 for a corporation for littering from a vehicle, based on reports from members of the public.
The ‘Report to EPA’ service is part of a comprehensive NSW State Government anti-littering program that aims to deter people from littering from vehicles by increasing the likelihood of being seen, reported and fined.
We all have a responsibility to do the right thing when it comes to our environment and if we all chip in and do our bit, we can help to ensure our region remains beautiful both today and for future generations. In short, don’t be a tosser.