Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Preventing litter

Large bins to collect all sorts of rubbish and prevent littering

The NSW Government is committed to reducing litter. The Premier’s Priority for 'Keeping our environment clean’ by reducing the volume of litter in NSW by 40% by 2020 is one of 12 Premier’s Priorities and 18 State Priorities for NSW.

What can you do?

It's easy to prevent litter every day

  • put your rubbish in a bin
  • take your rubbish with you if no bin is available
  • keep a bag in the car to collect rubbish
  • put your cigarette butt in a butt bin, or ordinary litter bin when extinguished
  • keep a container in the car to collect cigarette butts.

You can also

The EPA's Litter Prevention Program

Under the NSW Government's Waste Less, Recycle More Initiative, $20 million has been allocated until 2017 to prevent litter in NSW.

NSW Litter Prevention Strategy

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has developed a draft NSW Litter Prevention Strategy. The strategy provides key facts about litter in NSW, and set out actions and timeframes to achieve the ambitious litter reduction target for NSW. The EPA welcomes your feedback on the draft strategy.

Hey Tosser! litter prevention campaign

The EPA's research about littering behaviour shows that people know that littering is wrong. They know it is socially unacceptable. That is why, if people litter, they tend to do it when no one is looking.

The Hey Tosser! campaign tells litterers they are being watched and that no one likes what they do. The message builds on the successful 'Don't be a Tosser' campaign run from 2000 to 2003.

Find out more about Hey Tosser! and Hey Tosser! resources for use.

Using bottles to track the movement of litter

On 21 and 22 March 2017, the EPA tossed 40 GPS-tracked plastic bottles into harbours, rivers and lakes across the state to demonstrate how litter moves once it enters our waterways. This exercise shows people what happens to rubbish that is thrown thoughtlessly onto streets, highways and beaches or into waterways.

 EPA litter enforcement campaigns

The EPA runs litter enforcement campaigns throughout the year.

Tosser Blitz

man dropping litter out of a car

Don’t want to get fined? Don’t be a tosser, put it in the bin.

A Tosser Blitz is a large-scale, coordinated campaign of state and local government authorities coming together for a set period targeting all types of littering. Fines for littering are issued year round by NSW Police Officers, Council Rangers and the EPA.

The objective of a Tosser Blitz is to raise awareness of litter laws and provide a reminder that anyone can get fined for littering anywhere and at any time.

The Tosser Blitz involves collaboration with the EPA and others in the NSW community including local councils, NSW Police, the Roads and Maritime Service, Transport for NSW, Service NSW, Woolworths and McDonalds. These partners all employ different tools and tactics to discourage people from littering.

Find out more about the Tosser Blitz.

Targeting litter in snowfields

Hey Toser! goes to the snow

Hey Tosser! goes to the snow

Don't want your snow spoilt by Tossers? That's why the NSW EPA teamed up with the snowfields and local councils to target litter during the 2016 ski season.

Throughout the month of August, Hey Tosser! was highly promoted around the ski fields as well as on arterial roads to remind visitors to take their rubbish with them and not leave litter behind.

Kosciusko National Park is a favourite holidaying spot for skiers from around Australia. It covers almost 700,000 hectares of vibrant Alpine landscape, but we’re only able to enjoy this national treasure at its finest when we look after it.  

To help reinforce this message the EPA undertook a successful roadside littering blitz in August to remind people that they will be seen and fined for littering from vehicles around the ski fields and on major roads to the ski slopes.

2014 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 weekend

Russell Ingall - supporter of the EPA

Russell Ingall - supporter of the EPA's litter enforcement campaigns

In October 2014 more than 30 EPA officers patrolled the roads leading to Bathurst during the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 weekend, fining those who littered from their cars. The Hey Tosser! litter prevention message was used to raise awareness about litter as part of the enforcement campaign. The EPA partnered with V8 Supercars, Bathurst Regional Council, Charles Sturt University, Lithgow City Council, Blue Mountains City Council, Blayney Shire Council, Oberon Council, Hawkesbury City Council, the Roads and Maritime Service and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. More than 55 local businesses helped give away car litter bags and spread the message, 'Hey Tosser! Fines Apply'.

The EPA issued 46 litter fines during this campaign and 141 advisory letters.

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 driver Russell Ingall, known as 'The Enforcer', supported the EPA's enforcement program and encouraged race spectators to act responsibly.

Litter prevention grants

The EPA delivers funding for local councils, community groups, and businesses to target our most-littered materials and litter hotspots. We are all partners in reducing litter and changing litter behaviour in NSW.

Have a look at the case studies of projects from our Round 1 Council Litter Prevention Grants Program for inspiration on what can be done when we work together to reduce litter.

Grants are available to local councils and community groups. See Litter prevention grants for more information and how to apply.

Training for enforcement officers

The EPA is also improving enforcement of litter laws in NSW. The EPA works with regulatory agencies, particularly local councils, to help them develop knowledge, skills and resources for enforcing the litter laws and implementing local litter prevention activities.

Training workshops for enforcement officers are conducted through AELERT Professional Development and Training. For the next training course see the AELERT website.

Working with RMS

The Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) is committed to reduce roadside litter to help achieve the state’s goal of reducing the volume of litter by 40%. The RMS held the first ever Tidy Road Summit in collaboration with the EPA. The Tidy Road Summit sought to engage a number of key stakeholders, including McDonalds, Woolworths and Clean Up Australia to address the issue of roadside litter. RMS is working with the EPA, key stakeholders and councils to create strategies to achieve this target.

Information for effective litter prevention action

The EPA has developed resources to help NSW councils, land managers and local communities understand their litter problem and develop litter prevention projects and campaigns:

Was this page helpful?

Thank you for your feedback.

Would you like to tell us more?

Share this

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter More...
Page last updated: 05 July 2017