Council has received $48,119 from the NSW Government’s Environmental Protection Authority’s Round Two Cigarette Litter Prevention Grants to butt-out Bathurst’s cigarette litter.
Mayor Robert Taylor said this will be the next stage of Council’s successful cigarette litter prevention project.
“The first phase of the project ‘Cignificantly Reducing CBD Litter’ increased binning rates by 87.9 per cent and decreased cigarette litter by 93.7 per cent,” he said.
“Surveys that were conducted have identified that Bathurst Base Hospital and suburban shopping areas are a priority for future projects. Butt litter checks found large quantities of discarded cigarette butts in these areas. Across nine sites a total of 4,808 butts were found littered on the ground, in garden beds and in gutters. Using this data, it is estimated that 1,594 butts are littered per week.
“The project is a partnership between Council and Bathurst Base Hospital and aims to decrease cigarette butt litter by 90 per cent on hospital grounds and decrease cigarette butt litter by 80 per cent at all other project sites.”
Deputy Premier and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the program aims to reduce littering behaviour in NSW.
“By supporting Bathurst Regional Council to deliver cigarette butt litter prevention projects the NSW government is answering the needs of locals who take pride in their city and want clean streets that reflect that,” he said.
“Cigarette butts continue to be the most common type of litter in NSW and one of the most harmful to the environment given the toxic chemicals that make up cigarettes. Banishing Bathurst Butts Beyond the CBD will target key areas that are known popular littering areas.”
Signage and butt bins will be installed at the various sites with significant butt litter. The Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 prohibits smokers from smoking on hospital grounds, signage will be installed that educates and directs smokers to lawful area with improved infrastructure.
Discarded cigarette butts have over 400 harmful chemicals that when littered leach into our natural environment and waterways causing a range of impacts. Research from the NSW Environmental Protection Authority has indicated that approximately 1.32 billion butts are littered in NSW each year. Through preventative projects in public places almost 800 million can be prevented from entering the environment.