Keeping Waverley beautiful


Council works hard to keep Waverley’s beaches and public spaces clean and clear of rubbish and litter. This is particularly important over the summer months, when up to 80,000 visitors can pass through Bondi in one day!

Council would also like to recognise and thank the committed individuals and community groups that work hard to ensure the beaches are pristine. We’re all in this together so keep up the good work!

What does Council do to keep Waverley beautiful?

Waverley Council has dedicated staff who work hard to keep our beaches and public places clean and to educate the community about litter prevention.

Each summer, Council implements a litter prevention program to target top litter items identified through our annual beach audits.

In the summer of 2016/17, Council won the Keep NSW Beautiful - Hey Tosser Litter Award for its Bondi Unwrapped Project that tackled take-away packaging as litter. See more about this project below.

Bondi Unwrapped - Tackling take away packaging

The Bondi Unwrapped Project is a litter prevention program implemented in the summer of 2016/17 and includes aspects education and awareness, infrastructure, enforcement, and evaluation and monitoring. The program resulted in an overall 50% reduction in take-away packaging!! And won Council the Keep NSW Beautiful Hey Tosser Litter Award for 2017. But the project doesn’t stop there! Council is implanting the next phase of the project to tackle packaging at the source.

Council engaged businesses that sell take-away items and people who purchase take-away items. Council partnered with businesses to adopt sustainable packaging, while promoting product responsibility. Council also conducted packaging audits at 40 business to assist with advice for reducing packaging both internally and for take-away items. Top tips are found here. Take-away consumers were met face-to-face during peak commute times and beach visiting times to gauge the level of awareness of packaging as litter, discuss alternatives to take-away packaging and that it is an offence to litter.

New bin infrastructure was also installed to encourage the proper disposal of waste and recycling and dissuade litter behaviour. Bin wraps using the EPA’s Hey Tosser messaging were affixed to bins at litter hotspots, while solar compacting bins were installed at Bondi Beach and Bondi Junction. A Ranger Program was established to patrol the litter hotspots, where rangers undertook 10 education blitzes where they spoke to people about littering offences, and a Public Cleansing Program was implemented that included sweeping, bin maintenance and litter removal at the hotspots. Additionally, the Council Events and Vendor Policy was reviewed with internal stakeholders and modified to include sustainable packaging components.

The overall result was a reduction in 46% reduction in litter items at the sites, 38% total reduction by volume!

  • Cigarette butts – 51% reduction in litter items observed, 51% reduction by volume.
  • Takeaway Packaging – 50% reduction in total litter items, 50% reduction by volume.
  • Overflowing bins – 48% reduction in reports of overflowing bins.
  • Awareness - In the final litter check, all survey respondents spoken to were aware of littering as an offense through the Hey Tosser campaign.

Ongoing Beautifying Programs

Council has a team of public place cleaning staff who pick up rubbish from the sand routinely, clean bins, remove graffiti, sweep the sand and clean public toilets at the beaches and along the surrounding streets. Council’s beach rake operates every evening over summer to remove litter from our beaches.

Other litter prevention infrastructure at Bondi Beach and Bondi Junction where we receive the most visitors, includes the installation of cigarette butt receptacles, called Enviropoles. The cigarettes collected in these units are recycled into park benches and other items.

Every year, Council runs a litter prevention campaign during peak visitor times throughout the summer that involves education and engagement programs. A few of these campaigns over the years include targeted messages such as “Keep Bondi Beautiful”, “Did you pick up today?” and ‘Bin it so you don’t swim in it’.

As smoking is banned on our beaches since 2004, rangers patrol the beaches to provide this message to the community and issue fines when necessary.  Current fines for littering range from range from $250 for individuals to $500 for corporations.

Hey Tosser - Report Littering to the EPA

Council works in collaboration with the NSW EPA by supporting and promoting the ‘Hey Tosser’ Campaign, displayed at many bus stop sand train stations in Waverley throughout the year.

You can find out more about the state-wide litter prevention on the EPA site.

If you see someone littering from their vehicle, you can report a litterer directly to the EPA using the EPA’s litter reporting link.

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