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Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the world – a magnificent harbour, fringed by white sand beaches and green spaces. These natural icons and man-made wonders like the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge attract millions of visitors every year… yet those wonders (and the lucrative tourist dollar), are threatened by the plague of plastic and other rubbish proliferating in our waterways and coastline. There is already a huge effort being made to take back the rubbish we are producing. State and local governments spend over $150 million each year combatting litter. Businesses and home owners spend even more, and every week hundreds of groups are cleaning up beaches, parks and streets. Despite these efforts, we are still flooded with garbage.
Our surveys to quantify the amount of rubbish entering the Sydney environment each year have uncovered staggering figures. The Boomerang Alliance estimates that over 40,000 tonnes of rubbish are entering the NSW environment each year – that’s 5 ½ kgs for every person in NSW! In some spots around Sydney city, our team identified as many as 36,000 individual pieces of litter per hectare of public open space. Not only does this rubbish spoil our landscape – it hurts local business and the state economy.
Of course, tourism is a major driver of the NSW economy, with Destination NSW valuing the tourism industry at over $15.3 billon per year. Our efforts to keep our city streets, parks and waterways clean makes good economic sense.
With the container deposit scheme having begun in NSW in December 2017, there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to wage our own war on waste!
To that end, we have founded CitizenBlue.
We invite business, government and the community to join us in taking back our rubbish, and making Sydney the cleanest city in the world, by 2020!
Click Here to Learn More About How we’ll do it
Many of our larger coastal communities are really struggling to cope with the flood of rubbish imported into their towns. Most inland communities’ storm-water and sewage runs down our mountains and foothills, before being disgorged into a coastal community, already struggling with a tourist and visitor population that can double the waste generated by its residents.
Regional and rural councils are drowning in imported rubbish, but don’t receive a cent to clean up the mess.
CitizenBlue has developed a range of solutions to reverse this trend by capturing the refund of discarded containers and directing this money into funding new public place recycling systems, litter traps and community education programs that will allow communities to take control of their waste.
We’ll be commencing 5 regional pilot programs early in 2018 – if you think you can bring community, business and government to make your community rubbish free, please register your interest here.
If you think sorting out your waste and recycling is confusing in the cities, it’s often downright impossible if you live in the bush. Rural communities drive for hours to drop off their recycling and do the right thing but as much as 10% has limited or no access to a modern waste and recycling system – this has got to change!
Working with one of our regional member investor groups, we are exploring drop-in recycling centres, funded by the CD, that can finally access recycling services at little-to-no cost – just like their cousins in the big smoke.
We’ll be undertaking a series of roadshows across regional NSW in 2018 – meeting with our local shires and community groups to see how we can help – whether that’s helping them build a community recycling system, providing them with equipment, or maybe just transport access.
Our strategy to mobilise the community focuses on 5 key actions:
Hats off to the NSW Government, which in September 2015 made ‘Keeping Our Environment Clean’ a priority for the state and aims to “reduce the volume of litter in NSW by 40%, by 2020”, this, combined with the tough new litter laws and the commencement of “Return & Earn” in December, has sent a clear message that the rubbish on our streets and waterways isn’t OK.
Now it’s up to CitizenBlue to rally business, communities and local government, and coordinate the effort to achieve this goal.
Recycling is one of the environmental activities that everyone has embraced. Australia’s kerbside recycling system reaches roughly 97% of the population, but when you’re drinking a juice after a walk along the beach, recycling isn’t as easy. The proposed 1,000 Reverse Vending Machines (RVM) will do a great job of helping people recycle the containers they consume at home but they can’t be expected to be on every street corner. To compliment that effort and drastically cut the amount of rubbish in streets, parks and beaches, CitizenBlue will offer business and local government an additional 200 public place recycling bins to be installed and serviced by us across the inner city at no cost! We’ll double that number again by March and double it again in June.
Which councils will be the first to take the CitizenBlue pledge and give us access to install these new bins? Get in touch with us today!
It is time to get smart about waste, learn from other states, and deploy some of their effective solutions – our first innovation is to deploy a new public place recycling city – the first to be independently funded across the city that will dramatically increase the number of bins to capture litter and capture beverage containers which will generate funds to introduce more and more programs.
Additionally, two promising programs that we have been following are The Sea Bin Project (an innovative Aussie invention!), and “Mr. Trash Wheel” – a self-powered water wheel, tackling debris in Baltimore Harbour.
“The Sea Bin Project”
“Mr. Trash Wheel”