Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and resource recovery

Litter

NSW litter target

By 2016, NSW will have the lowest litter count per capita in Australia (NSW 2021: A plan to make NSW number one). This equates to about a 40% reduction in the number of littered items by 2016, based on 2011-12 data.

The people of NSW value a clean, green environment around them. We love spending time in the outdoors, visiting beaches, parks and bushland. We want our environment to be clean and safe. Not only that, we don’t want litter to affect the beauty of these places or damage our precious wildlife, vegetation and water quality. Responsibility for litter rests with all of us, starting with our individual behaviour right through to better litter infrastructure and effective enforcement campaigns.

NSW Litter Prevention Program

Litter prevention is a key priority for NSW. The NSW Government has committed $20 million to 2017 to revitalise litter programs as part of the broader $465 million Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

The EPA is co-ordinating litter prevention programs, including grants to deliver on the Government’s commitment to reduce litter and increase opportunities for people to look after their own environments.

Actions to prevent litter are built around four elements that together can deliver long-term change:

  • Community education
  • Enforcement
  • Infrastructure and clean sites
  • Measuring, evaluating and reporting.

Programs will integrate each of these elements, recognising that each is dependent on the others for success.

Programs will be delivered in partnership with local councils, community groups and other state agencies to achieve a cleaner NSW.

NSW Litter Prevention Strategy

The new NSW Litter Prevention Strategy is being developed and will be released for public feedback before being finalised.

The strategy will provide the key facts about litter in NSW, and include an Action Framework setting out key actions and timeframes to achieve the ambitious litter reduction target set by the NSW Government. The Action Framework will be built around the four elements of litter prevention – community education; enforcement; infrastructure and clean sites; and measuring, evaluating and reporting.

Once finalised, the NSW Litter Prevention Strategy will be a key reference for all those involved or interested in litter to focus and co-ordinate action.

NSW litter prevention resources

The EPA has developed some litter prevention resources for NSW councils, land managers and local communities to understand their litter problem and develop litter prevention projects and campaigns using the 'Hey Tosser!' anti-litter message.

Resources include:

For more information contact the EPA on (02) 9995 5000 or email  litter.prevention@epa.nsw.gov.au.

Hey Tosser! - a new litter prevention campaign
Man dropping cigarette butt in street.

A new ‘Hey Tosser’ anti-litter message was launched across NSW in May 2014. It is also available for use by councils, the community and other land managers. Messages discourage littering and remind the community about littering penalties, including reporting litterers.

'Hey Tosser!' creative materials

All creative materials are branded with the overarching 'Hey Tosser!' brand. You can mix and match the settings and material types in photos as well as a variety of sub text to suit your needs.

The Hey Tosser! creative material and style guidelines offers the following benefits:

  • use of the 'Hey Tosser!' slogan
  • artwork that is ready to print
  • artwork that can be tailored to your local needs
  • a range of materials to choose from.

Campaign focus

As well as providing general litter prevention messages, the materials provided have been designed so that councils, land managers and local communities can choose the theme most relevant to their local area, their litter prevention activities and campaign priorities.

The 'Hey Tosser!' suite of materials contains ready-to-use images of littering or litter from cars, in parks, out and about or on holidays, at the beach and general images of cigarette littering.

Couple leaving litter by waterway.

Bylines such as 'Hey Tosser! It's a dirty look’ or 'Hey Tosser! You know it’s wrong’, can be used.

The 'Hey Tosser!' materials include ready-to-use 'Hey Tosser' templates such as:

  • press advertisements
  • posters
  • stickers
  • online banners
  • online web thumbnail.

To order the 'Hey Tosser' creative materials contact the EPA on (02) 9995  5000 or email  litter.prevention@epa.nsw.gov.au.

Local Litter Check

The EPA has developed The Local Litter Check (130789LPKLocLittChk.pdf, 1MB) to help gather evidence about what contributes to litter behaviour in sites such as local parks, beaches and bus stops. This includes easy-to-use survey sheets and forms for any litter hotspots to help target litter prevention action. Once the evidence is gathered, you can build a plan of action to tackle a litter hotspot and use the Local Litter Check to track your progress. The Local Litter Check has been trialled with councils and community groups and will continue to be refined.

The Local Litter Check instruction and survey forms will show you what influences litter in a specific site and can provide clues on what can be done to reduce litter.

The Local Litter Check (130789LPKLocLittChk.pdf, 1MB)

Five short videos are also available to help you understand and use the Local Litter Check.

Information and training for councils and other agencies

Litter Prevention Grants

The $2.29 million Litter Prevention Grants program funds litter prevention projects that target NSW's most littered materials and litter hot spot sites.

Training

Part of the EPA litter prevention program is to ensure that regulatory agencies, particularly councils, have the necessary knowledge, skills and resources to enforce new litter laws and implement local litter prevention activities through education and enforcement activities.

After trialling new training courses in 2013, litter training workshops are now being conducted through AELERT Professional Development and Training.

For the next Authorised Officer litter training course see the AELERT website.

Community projects

The local community knows best about its litter hots spots and problem behaviours. The EPA continues to fund community litter actions, through a range of community education activities that include:

  • developing and distributing litter prevention resources for community organisations wishing to run a litter prevention program
  • providing workshops for community organisations and council educators on the EPA's litter prevention program and community education
  • providing funding to Keep NSW Beautiful for Community Litter Grants.

Further information

For further information about the EPA's Litter Prevention Program contact the EPA on (02) 9995 5000 or email  litter.prevention@epa.nsw.gov.au.

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Page last updated: 07 August 2014