Maitland City Council (MCC) has put out the challenge to its counterparts to safeguard our ecosystem.
To encourage the appropriate disposal of litter while out and about this summer, MCC is giving away free reusable car litter bags.
Bags can be collected, within business hours, from any of the four Maitland library branches, the Visitor Information Centre or the Council Administration Building from now until Sunday 13 December.
“By using the car litter bags, the community is playing its part in protecting the environment from litter thrown from motor vehicles, left behind in parks, shopping precincts or travel rest spots,” council’s manager of environment and sustainability Catherine Pepper said.
“The result of littering not only makes the environment and waterways look untidy, but it also has the potential to harm the environment and cause human injury.”
Littering can cause animals, birds and aquatic life to ingest or become tangled in rubbish, stormwater drains being blocked or land and waterways turning contaminated with pollutants.
The following litter fines apply in New South Wales:
• $80 for littering small items, such as bottle tops and cigarette butts;
• $250 for general littering;
• $250 for an individual littering from a vehicle ($500 for corporations); and
• $450 for littering in aggravated or dangerous circumstances, such as depositing a syringe or a lit cigarette ($900 for corporations).
If someone is seen littering they can be reported by contacting the EPA on 131 555 or online at www.epa.nsw.gov.au
Should you identify a site where illegal dumping has occurred, you can report it for investigation by visiting www.ridonline.epa.nsw.gov.au