Clean harbour partners program - CBD stormwater improvements
Grant number: 3027
Grant funding: $150,000
Local government area/s: City of Sydney
Location/s: Sydney CBD, Chinatown (food premises) and Sydney Fish Markets
Project partners: City of Sydney
Sydney is known worldwide for the beauty of its harbour. However, Sydney Harbour suffers from heavy pollution as stormwater drains into it from places such as the fish markets and Farm Cove.
The CBD is also a source of stormwater pollution, due to traffic, constant use and impervious surfaces.
The City of Sydney identified cigarette butts and litter as priority issues. The project aimed to tackle the pollution these create on the streets, and when they are washed into the stormwater system and harbour.
The project sought to:
- develop a comprehensive education program for Sydney CBD
- develop effective partnerships with city organisations and companies in delivering the program
- increase levels of awareness of the link between rubbish in gutters and the quality of water in Sydney Harbour
- reduce amounts of litter, sediment and chemical pollution entering the stormwater system from Sydney CBD.
This initiative encouraged commercial partnerships to increase awareness, influence behaviour and implement improved stormwater management practices. Targeted groups included building owners/agents/managers, business managers, and managers of food premises, shops, shopping centres and licensed premises. Specific programs were developed for Chinatown and the Sydney Fish Markets.
Once the initial program was completed, businesses were supported in maintaining good practice through materials on the program's web page.
Methodology and tools
Commercial partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the actions they would take to improve the impacts of their businesses on stormwater. Partners were provided with a self-audit checklist so they could identify and deal with all potential stormwater pollutants on their properties, such as chemicals, waste and sediment. They were advised how to comply with environmental legislation by modifying cleaning and maintenance practices or by using technology to treat wash-down water to an acceptable standard. Their affiliation with the program was acknowledged on the program's web page.
The program provided subsidised infrastructure such as cigarette receptacles, signage and information sheets. A broad education program addressed the issue of cigarette butts and litter. All participants were encouraged to provide cigarette butt receptacles outside their premises and to assist in educating tenants and workers.
The following were also developed or organised:
- educational materials including a project brochure with an interpretive map of the catchment area and information on stormwater impacts, an information kit, an information sheet for contractors, an 'easy message' email, signage and posters, stickers, certificates and a waste management brochure
- Street Vision advertisements, and poster displays on street furniture at 125 locations
- 150 external signs
- a program launch at Sydney Aquarium (free passes were donated as incentives)
- a web page, including program updates and comprehensive resource downloads
- a Chinese food premises workshop and associated materials, presented by The Ethnic Communities Council
- press releases published in City of Sydney newsletters
- displays at Sydney Harbour Week and council chambers
- 'wheelie bin' covers and complementary graphic signage at the Sydney Fish Market, to educate customers and prevent seagull infestation and associated faecal contamination
- consultation with key industry associations, such as the Property Council of Australia and retail associations
- 250,000 educational lunch bags distributed to take-away food premises for World Environment Day
- assistance for Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority research into best practice for wash-downs of infrastructure around Darling Harbour.
- Partnerships between the City of Sydney and over 90 businesses in the CBD and Chinatown, some of which had many premises
- 1,970 hits on the front page of the program website and 7,748 hits on all pages between mid-March 2001 and February 2002
- Mailout of 2,500 information kits to businesses
- Over two million people per week reached via Street Vision advertisements at Sydney train stations
- Partner employees exposed to 361 internal signs near cigarette butt receptacles and notice boards
- Partners repaired leaking taps, and reconnected car wash bays, waste bays and air conditioning outlets that had been connected illegally and had drained into the stormwater system rather than the sewer
- Key messages reached a broader audience than the program partners.
The program provided an 'easy message' email on disk that employers could email to their employees, and a comprehensive web page with extensive resources and case studies.
Project resources and further information
Phone City of Sydney on (02) 9265 9333.
Stage 3 grant details
Page last updated: 26 February 2011