Waste management and recycling is a crucial part of taking care of Centennial Parklands and the environment – and we can’t do it alone, we need your help.
The Parklands receives over 30 million visits annually (2017 Visitation Survey) and with continuing increases to the surrounding population and increased demand on the Parklands’ facilities and environment– this creates a major challenge for us as we are a sustainably-focused and self-funded public parklands.
Our overarching aim is to familiarise local communities and park visitors with our waste management and recycling systems through public outreach, and encourage everyone to engage with Centennial Parklands in an environmentally-friendly way by leaving no trace when they are visiting the Parklands.
How we manage waste in the Parklands
It is estimated that over 1500 tonnes of waste was generated by park visitors and maintenance operations last year (FY 2017). Of this:
- 48 per cent was non-recycled waste
- 8 per cent was recycled waste
- 44 per cent was green waste and organic waste (horse manure).
We are committed to decreasing the non-recycled waste generated by park visitors and improving the separation rate of waste for improved disposal and reuse but the main challenge we currently face is people not disposing their rubbish correctly.
When you visit the Parklands please ensure to dispose of any waste in the correct bins provided. If you are planning a picnic in the Parklands, grab a Parklands map which has the locations of all our waste stations. Better still, aim to take your waste away with you or bring reusable bags and packaging to cut down on your waste.
How can you help?
It is estimated that, with your help, we can divert up to 30 tonnes of aluminium cans, and glass and PET bottles annually from the Parklands non-recycled waste system. Little steps can make big differences.
Please do the right thing and use the right bin when disposing your waste in the Parklands and help us reduce the amount of non-recyclables going into our bins.
Please avoid this practice
There are 360 bins (220 non-recycling and 120 recycling) in the Parklands and despite being emptied twice weekly – timed to prepare for periods of peak visitation – some bins in highly popular areas of the Parklands fill up quicker than others. In this instance, some park visitors believe the correct thing to do is leave their waste stacked up next to bins. This is unfortunately not a good practice.
Such waste can be blown around, enter our waterways and become a litter hazard, as well as a potential danger to Parklands wildlife (e.g. attracting rodents, choking hazards etc). The practice also encourages scavenging behaviour by native and non-native birds and animals.
The subsequent waste also becomes a cost burden to the Parklands, diverting much-needed funds from tree conservation, planting and other essential maintenance of heritage features, amenities and other Parklands facilities.
How can you help?
Again, if you are planning a picnic in the Parklands, grab a Parklands map which has the locations of all our waste stations. Better still, aim to take your waste away with you or bring reusable bags and packaging to cut down on your waste.
Keeping our ponds clean doesn’t start in the Parklands
Stormwater traps, often known as gross pollutant traps, installed at key stormwater entry points into the Parklands, play a key role in preserving the Parklands’ environment. In the last year (FY2017) the stormwater traps have captured approximately 29.1 tonnes of waste!
Centennial Parklands’ ponds form a key part of Sydney’s eastern suburbs stormwater system. (learn more about the interrelationship and how we manage stormwater and ponds here). Litter and debris from surrounding suburbs can wash into the Park’s ponds during periods of high rainfall.
The stormwater traps capture a proportion of such waste; however we operate a pond cleaning program to capture waste that bypasses the traps. We also run a volunteer litter patrol program. Find out how you can assist us today.
One of the issues we face is that the cost to service the stormwater traps and dispose of the litter mounts up each year.
How can you help?
If you live in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, you can help by:
- Always sweeping your gutters and driveways with a broom rather than hosing rubbish down the drain.
- Always washing your car on the grass. Putting soapy water down the drain encourages the growth of algae and can sometimes poison our aquatic wildlife.
- Always picking up your dog’s faeces.
- Pick up your rubbish and put it in the bin.
If you are visiting Centennial Parklands and are concerned by a waste issue, please call the Parklands Office on (02) 9339 6699 (or out of office hours: 0412 718 611).
Please enjoy the Parklands and we look forward to elevating the park experience for everyone in a clean and sustainable environment for future generations.