WA Beach Cleans up 68kg of litter

12th October 2015

beach clean upOver 30 volunteers were up bright and early on Sunday 11th October  to take part in the WA Beach Clean Up event at Sorrento Beach. Coordinated by Tangaroa Blue, this statewide event saw nearly 100 groups get down to their local beach to collect litter and marine debris.

Our KAB group targeted the area from the rocks by the Hillarys Boat Harbour south to the groyne in front of the Sorrento Surf Club. In about an hour we collected and bagged just over 68kg of litter. This was an amazing effort and many volunteers commented on the words of encouragement and appreciation from other beachgoers.

Thank you very much to everyone who came down and made the event such a great success.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder in line for sustainability award

11th October 2015

The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder has been selected as Western Australia’s representative in Keep Australia Beautiful’s Australian Sustainable Cities Awards.

Running since 2007, the awards encourage, motivate and celebrate the local sustainability achievements of communities across Australia.

Chairman of Keep Australia Beautiful Council (WA) Mel Hay highlighted Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s ability to involve all sectors of the community in its efforts.

“The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder connects its residents with the local environment and is building capacity to deliver outcomes which are sustainable—sustainable because of support from diverse elements within the community and engagement across the breadth of the City,” he said.

“For example, the City has an impressive commitment and investment to reduce its carbon footprint. A new 150-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system at the wastewater treatment plant should reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 220 tonnes per year. Other initiatives include a trial of light emitting diode (LED) street lights and managing a $5.8 million regional LED street light upgrade and a solar PV project across the Goldfields-Esperance region. With leadership from the Mayor and Council, the City is strategically tackling sustainability and addressing the challenges of climate change and environmental protection, and is a deserving National Finalist for 2015."

National Judge Sean Rooney will be visiting Kalgoorlie-Boulder on 16 October and the award ceremony will be held in Brisbane on 13 November. In addition to the overall winner, the national program contains the category awards listed below, each of which is scored through the national judging process:

  • Community Action and Wellbeing
  • Dame Phyllis Frost Litter Prevention Award, Waste Management & Resource Recovery
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Heritage and Culture
  • Young Legends
  • Environmental Education

In WA, the Keep Australia Beautiful sustainability awards programs are supported by the Waste Authority through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account. To find out more, including the full list of national finalists, go to www.kab.org.au/sustainable-cities/national-sustainable-cities/.

Contact - DER Media - 08 6467 5151 or email: media@der.wa.gov.au

Albany is Tidy Towns’ State Winner for 2015

12th September 2015

Albany lookoutAt a prestigious function held at Royal Perth Yacht Club on Friday 11 September, Albany proved to this year’s judges that it is the best overall in Western Australia and is therefore the very worthy winner of this year’s Tidy Towns state title.

A $20 million upgrade to the Albany Heritage Park and Princess Royal Fortress resulted in a world-class site where visitors can learn about strategic defence during both World Wars and the embarkation of ANZACs to Gallipoli.  A new National ANZAC Centre was opened and four-days of ANZAC Centenary celebrations attracted 40,000 visitors and packed out the city.

Some of Albany’s other iconic projects included the conservation and interpretation of Aboriginal fish traps at Oyster Harbour (built by the Menang Noongar people 6,500-7,000 years ago); highly effective waste management and recycling systems; eradication of weeds like Sydney golden wattle and Victorian tea tree; planting indigenous seedlings; and litter prevention initiatives.  

State Categories winners are :

•    Water Conservation and Energy Innovation – Kalgoorlie-Boulder
•    Natural Environment Conservation – Greenbushes
•    Young Legends – Toodyay
•    Waste Management and Litter Prevention – Karratha
•    Community Action and Partnerships – Wongan Hills
•    General Appearance – Esperance
•    Heritage and Culture – Albany

Fact File 

•    Albany will now represent Western Australia at the national Tidy Towns Awards
•    This year, the Keep Australia Beautiful Western Australian Tidy Towns awards celebrate 46 years


Western Australians talk rubbish about litter

24th August 2015

AUSTRALIANS are all care but no responsibility when it comes to litter with 90 per cent claiming to feel guilty if they drop rubbish but one third of people littering anyway, new research has revealed.

This is the first time Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) has commissioned research into our behaviour and attitudes to litter with more than 2000 Australians surveyed.

The McCrindle Research surveyi, which included Western Australia residents, was commissioned in time for this year’s KAB Week - an annual event that reminds all Australians to keep our country beautiful and litter-free.

The survey revealed stark contradictions between what we think and how we act when it comes to rubbish.
“The vast majority of us, 83 per cent, say that litter is a problem in our own community and yet only seven per cent of people participated in an organised clean-up day in the past year,’’ said KAB Chief Executive Officer Peter McLean.

“And while 99 per cent say litter bothers them, 30 per cent of us confess to doing it anyway.

“We are obviously not walking the talk.’’

The survey found food, cigarette butts and small pieces of paper such as receipts were the most typically dropped items.

It also revealed the most common excuses for littering were that the piece of rubbish was ‘very small’, that it was biodegradable and that there were no bins nearby.

“However, this is not always the case,” Mr McLean said.
“The latest 2014/15 National Litter Index (NLI) revealed that while most sites with rubbish bins had less litter, retail areas were a stark exception.

“The NLI found 92 items of rubbish were dumped on average per 1,000m2 of retail shop fronts (the area from the front of the shop to the gutter) across Western Australia, despite access to 35 rubbish bins across the same sites.

“These pieces of research demonstrate that what we say and what we do don’t match up,’’ Mr McLean said.
“We need to start putting our money where our mouth is and cleaning up after ourselves.
“It’s hard to believe that people will shop all day to bag a clothing bargain and line up for cheap petrol but they are prepared to spend millions of their taxpayer dollars on cleaning up litter.’’

Mr McLean said this year’s theme for KAB Week, It’s Everyone’s Backyard, was designed to prompt Australians to match their words with actions.

“The research found that if we saw a friend litter, 74 per cent of us would ask them to clean it up but if it was a stranger we observed littering, only 31 per cent of us would intervene,’’ he said.

“We need to take more responsibility and challenge those who are littering our country.

“We need to remember that Australia belongs to all of us – it’s everyone’s backyard.’

More on Keep Australia Beautiful Week here.


Balga man fined $24,000 for illegal dumping

20th August 2015

illegal dump A 41 year old Balga man has this week been found guilty of six counts of illegally dumping demolition waste into bushland.

Travis Ian Petricevich was convicted and fined in the Joondalup Magistrates Court on 18 August 2015 under Section 49(A)(3) of the Environmental Protection Act (1986). 

Between 12 May 2013 and 27 March 2014, the accused drove his truck to Mariginiup and Pinjar and emptied loads of demolition waste into bushland.

Mr Petricevich was identified by information supplied by a member of the public. 

The accused was fined $24,000 and ordered to pay an additional $4039.30 in costs. The Magistrate also ordered him to pay $1656.90 to the City of Wanneroo for clean-up costs.

The Department of Environment Regulation’s Director General Jason Banks said, “I hope this successful conviction will serve as a timely warning that severe penalties apply for illegally dumping waste.”  

“When people deliberately dump waste, flora, fauna and peoples’ health can be harmed. 

“Illegal dumping also places a significant financial burden on the taxpayer.” 

Maximum penalties for illegal dumping are $62,500 for individuals and $125,000 for corporations. 

To report illegal dumping, call the Department’s 24-hour pollution watch hotline: 1300 784 782