Monitoring litter

representatives from organisations implementing litter prevention strategies in the Sydney region
Photo from EPA training for representatives from organisations implementing litter prevention strategies in the Sydney region

The litter prevention strategy that Georges Riverkeeper is working on with assistance from our consultant, Member Councils, some community groups and the NSW EPA is progressing well. We have completed the sections on ‘where’ and ‘how’ litter prevention can be implemented and have recently discussed with the Project Reference Group some draft priority actions to come out of strategy and a business case for litter prevention.

After the Litter Prevention Strategy is complete, it will be important to monitor and evaluate the success of any litter prevention projects and see how litter is trending more broadly within catchment. To do this a monitoring and evaluation framework will be developed. Recently, Rob Dixon from Georges Rivekeeper got some first-hand experience learning about the monitoring framework the EPA is implementing to measure how NSW is tracking towards meeting the state targets of a 30% reduction in plastic litter items by 2025 and a 60% reduction in all litter items by 2030.

During training with the EPA, Charles Stuart University and other organisations implementing litter prevention strategies throughout the Sydney region including Sydney Coastal Councils Group and The River Canoe Club, worked through two methodologies.These included the National Litter Index which monitors litter within different land use settings including residential, retail, industrial and recreational areas and the Key Littered Item Study which monitors the quantity and types of litter that ends up in waterways and are deposited in mangroves.

Currently, there are no sites within the Georges River catchment that contribute to either of these state-wide monitoring programs. Rob will discuss these monitoring techniques with the Litter Prevention Strategy Project Reference Group to see if their implementation will align with the goals of the strategy and provide worthwhile data for the catchment.

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