Cigarette butt-bins installed at five northern hot-spots

Picture: Sera Cocora on

FIVE northern suburbs’ locations, from Stanwell Tops to Towradgi Beach, will have cigarette butt bins installed by Wollongong City Council.

The Council is renewing its effort to eliminate cigarette litter, with the launch of its educational No Butts Trail and the installation of 30 new cigarette butt bins.

The bins will be located at numerous northern suburbs beach locations, including at Stanwell Park, Austinmer and Bulli.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the bins set an expectation that smokers will now dispose of their cigarette butts correctly.

“We shouldn’t have to do this but unfortunately smoking is still prevalent,” he said.

“Council doesn’t condone smoking but it’s in the interests of our environment to install these bins.

“It is unacceptable to treat our community open spaces as a personal ashtray. Tossing butts on pathways, into gardens or dropping them at the base of trees is disgusting behaviour.”

Council is supporting the installation of the bins these school holidays and throughout April with a No Butts Trail campaign.

The trail consists of eight temporary chalk art installations, delivered by Zest International, in high profile locations across Wollongong.

The locations of the bins are recognised community hotspots for traffic and cigarette use, and their installation will provide options for smokers to dispose of butts correctly and safely. The northern cigarette butt bins are located at:

  • Stanwell Tops: Bald Hill
  • Stanwell Park: beach reserve, near the kiosk
  • Austinmer: beach foreshore, near Lawrence Hargrave Drive
  • Bulli Beach: cycleway near Ocean Park
  • Towradgi Beach: near the playground

This project has been delivered in partnership with the NSW Environment Protection Authority, Waste Less Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

At the same time Council will be running a No Butts trail competition alongside pop-up visits of Council’s education trailer aimed at raising awareness of cigarette butt litter and supporting an effort to change public behaviour.

Community members are encouraged to enter the competition by completing a questionnaire on the chalk works, with each piece drawing attention to cigarette waste and correct disposal in a unique way. There are eight separate locations to find, with details on their location and an entry form available on Council’s website or residents can pick up or drop off an entry form at their local library.

“Cigarette butts are small but their long-term impact on our community is a large one,” Cr Bradbery said.

“Keeping butts out of our environment is a simple thing to do but can make a big difference to the quality of our outdoor spaces, beaches and waterways and general health of our environment.”

According to the National Litter Index, cigarettes are the most littered item in NSW. Once littered, butts have only to travel a short distance in these locations to be washed into stormwater drains and water ways where they can leach toxic chemicals into the environment or be mistaken for food by marine creatures with often deadly consequences.

“It’s important that we have the infrastructure in place that allows smokers to dispose of their butts correctly.,” Cr Bradbery said.

“It also serves as a visual reminder to do the right thing. These bins are in place not to encourage smoking, but to set the expectation that cigarette waste should be disposed of responsibly.”

Keep an eye on the City of Wollongong Facebook page where Council will be sharing images of the No Butt trail chalk artworks over the next month.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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