During the silly season there is a large increase in the amount of waste across Australia and everyone must be vigilant when disposing of litter over this busy period.
Queenslanders need to pick up their game when it comes to keeping Australia Beautiful. It seems we have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to littering and recycling.
The Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index will be paying close attention to our national tally through December. Unfortunately, in last year’s index Queensland was the second worst state.
The Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index is based on items per 1,000 square metres, and in last years index Queensland was only marginally in front of Tasmania but behind every other state or territory.
The national average is 56 items and below is a list of how the states ranked in the 2012/2013 Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index:
1. Victoria – 30 items
2. Northern Territory – 51 items
3. ACT – 55 items
4. South Australia – 53 items
5. New South Wales – 61 items
6. Western Australia – 63 items
7. Queensland – 68 items
8. Tasmania – 83 items
It is clear that Queensland needs to improve and Keep Australia Beautiful National Executive Officer Peter McLean said now is the perfect time of year to be mindful of how we are disposing of litter.
“More can be done to keep our nation beautiful and there’s never a better time for Queenslanders to make an extra effort to clean up,” he said.
Mr McLean made note that Christmas and New Year’s Eve were traditionally Australia’s biggest litter days with millions of tonnes of extra rubbish hitting the nation’s streets, parks and beaches.
“We all have to take personal responsibility for our behaviour. This time of the year isn’t a ‘License to Litter’.”
Keep Australia Beautiful Queensland CEO Rick Burnett also urged holidaymakers not to give their recycling habits a vacation too, especially when out camping or at rental accommodation.
“Familiarise yourself with the nearest domestic and public rubbish bins and recycle where possible. If camping, pick the rubbish up and take it with you,” Mr Burnett said.
Keep Australia Beautiful has also released a ‘Yuletide Guide’ to aid everyone in cleaning up correctly after Christmas and New Year.
THE YULETIDE GUIDE
· Put bottles and cans empty and loose in the recycle bin, not bagged or boxed.
· Recycle wrapping and cards.
· Only recycle appropriate items. (No cellophane, tinsel, decorations, broken glasses or crockery)
· Put cigarette butts in an appropriate container and throw in the rubbish.
· You can’t recycle plastic shopping bags in your domestic bin. Reuse them as car rubbish bags when travelling.
· Shopping trolleys belong at supermarkets.
· 30% of household waste can be composted. Don’t throw leftover Christmas fruit vegie peelings in the rubbish. Compost it.
· Don’t throw cooking oil down the sink. Wrap and put in with the rubbish.
· Limit olfactory pollution. As a courtesy to your neighbours wrap the prawn scraps and freeze them until the next rubbish collection, this way won’t attract vermin either.
· Polystyrene is recyclable in some places. Check with your local council.
· Batteries are toxic for landfill, save them for council chemical waste collection or other safe deposit locations.