People power to combat littering motorists
Published: 30 May 2018 10:58am
People power to combat littering motorists - 28 January 2015
Litter bugs beware - you’re being watched.
Last week the NSW EPA announced an initiative that further supports local efforts to reduce litter in our environment.
Wagga Wagga City Council was successful in receiving funding through the NSW EPA’s Hey Tosser! campaign in 2014. This project provides residents with the information and tools to make reports of littering offences, which previously only resulted in a warning.
As a result of the new EPA litter reporting system, fines for littering from vehicles can be issued based on reports from the public for the first time in NSW. The new rules come into effect on Sunday March 1, which is also Clean Up Australia Day.
“People are less likely to litter when they think someone may be watching them,” Environmental Education Officer Alice Kent said.
“With more eyes on the lookout hopefully litterers will think twice before tossing rubbish out of the car window.
“Many residents feel frustrated when they see others disrespecting our city and environment when they litter. This is an opportunity for the public to take action against this poor behaviour.”
All reports will be verified before a fine is issued, and reporters may need to provide evidence in court. Reports must be made within 14 days of the incident and include important information.
However, the initiative is not about creating a “people’s court” and there’s a simple message - don’t litter from your car and you have nothing to worry about.
“Litter doesn’t simply go away when it is thrown out the car window,” Ms Kent said.
“Money is spent to clean roadways, stormwater drains and pollutant traps where litter from cars frequently ends up.
“Many volunteer hours are spent on community clean up events such as Clean Up Australia Day and Clean Up Wagga Day.”
The new reporting system will start on 1 February, with the issuing of fines to start the following month.
Residents can use the EPA website, www.epa.nsw.gov.au/litter, or the EPA mobile app to report littering motorists.
Hey Tosser! car tidy bags and car air fresheners can be collected from the Visitor Information Centre.