Skip to content
11 Apr 2019

Think before you throw

We are no stranger to getting our hands dirty at Centennial Parklands but when it comes to cleaning up after tossers we can’t do it alone. According to the National Litter Index, the top ten most littered items nationally are:  

  1. Cigarette butts (and their packaging)
  2. Plastic snack bags and confectionery wrappers
  3. Plastic straws
  4. Plastic bottle tops
  5. Metal bottle tops and can ring pulls
  6. Carbonated soft drink and flavoured water in cans (all sizes)
  7. Paperboard cups and paperboard takeaway food containers
  8. Plastic takeaway containers and plastic ups
  9. Paper shopping dockets and shopping lists
  10. Paperboard coffee cups
Black_Swan_juv by Trevor Waller.JPG
A juvenile Black Swan enjoying the ponds at Centennial Parklands. Photo by Trevor Waller

Where does the litter go?

There are four main ways that litter is broken down or becomes hazardous:

1. Waste like the above can lead to animal and bird scavenging, and cause wildlife choking hazards.

2. Waste that includes broken bottles, leftover bones and other small pieces of litter often requires manual pick up. These are a safety hazard for staff, volunteers and a public safety risk for other park visitors.

3. Some people believe piling waste next to a bin or tree helps. It doesn't. Waste like this is often scattered by wind (ending up across the Parklands and in waterways) and attracts rodents.

4. Our sports fields are some of the busiest in Australia, but we need your help keeping them clean and safe. Always put empty sports drink bottles in the recycling bins, not left lying on the ground.

Did you know? The nutrients in dog poo can encourage algal blooms in our ponds.

#TrashTag and plogging 

There are a few things visitors can do to help us keep the Parklands a beautiful and safe space for all of our users - even the furry ones. A few global movements like #TrashTag and Plogging have been trending lately but the best thing to do is Leave No Trace.

duckling at centennial park
We 'Share the Park' with many users including wildlife. 

Some of the key principles are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare (e.g. repackage food to minimise waste)

  • Dispose of waste properly (or better still, take waste with you when you leave)

  • Respect wildlife - keep wildlife wild and don't feed them

  • Be considerate of other visitors

duck pond centennial park
Everyone can help keep the Parklands pristine. 

Report waste issues

If you are visiting Centennial Parklands and are concerned by a waste issue, please contact the Parklands Office on (02) 9339 6699 (or out of office hours: 0412 718 611).

If you see someone littering from their vehicle, you can report them to the EPA here.

Share the Park 

Centennial Parklands is one of Australia's largest and most popular public spaces, hosting more than 31 million visits every year.

People aren't the only ones who visit so we encourage everyone to Share the Park with the animals and wildlife who rest, nest, eat and live in the Parklands.

Whether you visit as cyclist, pedestrian, dog walker, horse rider or a motorist, you can do some things to help us Share the Park:

Pick up your rubbish or someone else will. Help protect our wildlife and waterways by disposing of your rubbish thoughtfully.

Watch out for your dog. Our ponds can be very tempting for dogs to run into, for the safety of your dog and for our wildlife we ask that you keep dogs on leash when inside Grand Drive.

There’s plenty of ways to contribute to an environmentally sustainable Parklands, but feeding the birds is not one of them. Don't give a duck (bread) - watch our video to find out more! 

Animals are most active around sunrise and sunset. Take extra care around these times when driving and cycling. The speed limit in the park is 30kph.

Find out how you can get involved with Share the Park here

Category: News, Events, Health, Nature
If you are a journalist and have a media enquiry about this story, please click here for contact details and more information.