QPRC knows there is no excuse for littering

Published on 17 April 2018

Coffee cup in waterway - Don't be a tosser! campaign

Queanbeyan residents are being reminded there is no excuse to litter this Autumn as the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) launches the Don’t be a Tosser! campaign.

The Don’t Be a Tosser! campaign is one of many EPA programs that works towards the NSW Premier’s priority of reducing the volume of litter in NSW by 40 per cent by the year 2020. Part of this campaign calls on the community to register to the ‘Report to EPA’ system and report littering from vehicles as it happens. The system works in combination with state and local government litter projects that are already helping to change behaviour when it comes to rubbish.

EPA Litter Prevention Manager, Sharon Owens, says while it can have devastating effects on waterways and the environment, litter has always been a preventable problem.

“There is no excuse for tossing rubbish. If we all think about what we do with our rubbish and put it in the bin, litter can become a problem of the past,” Ms Owens said.

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council has an ongoing raft of programs to reduce the amount of litter in the region. One of Council’s latest programs targeted Lake Jerrabomberra which is regularly littered, causing harm to the marine ecosystem.

To combat the problem, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council used an EPA grant to conduct several clean-up days and renew infrastructure such as garbage bins to encourage people to do the right thing. Council also partnered with community groups to hold education sessions. The sessions were held at the oval on sport days and at the Jerrabomberra Commons. Information stands were set up at the Queanbeyan Show, Environmental Expo and the Multicultural Festival to enhance awareness.

The results have been impressive: there has been a 98 per cent reduction in litter volume at the Lake Jerrabomberra litter hotspot and a 53 per cent decrease at Jerrabomberra Community Centre. 

Mayor Tim Overall said while the results were positive, there is still work to do.

“The results show that the community is on board with reducing litter, but there is always more to do, so we are calling on locals to register to report littering from vehicles so that they can help us reduce littering in our suburbs.

“By having residents report ‘Tossers’ it sends a strong message that littering is not tolerated in our community and if you litter you will get caught,” Mayor Overall said.

Since February 2015, more than 28,000 people across NSW registered with ‘Report to EPA’ to report Tossers littering from vehicles. Over 38,000 reports of littering from vehicles were made, demonstrating that many members of the community care about keeping our environment clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.

To report littering from a vehicle you need to:

  • have actually seen the litter being thrown, or blown, from the vehicle
  • be able to provide the vehicle registration details and the location where the littering took place
  • report the incident within 14 days
  • make your report on the EPA website
  • be willing to attend court as a witness, if required.

 Littering habits research results:

  • 17 per cent of people in Queanbeyan wouldn’t call someone a litterer even if they did it once a month
  • 88 per cent of Queanbeyan respondents said they rarely or never litter, and 44 per cent believe most littering is done by just a few repeat offenders.
  • 98 per cent of Queanbeyan respondents agreed that people should be fined for littering
  • 94 per cent of the Queanbeyan population know that they can be fined for littering

To find out more about the Don’t be a Tosser! campaign, visit the EPA website