Targeting litter from sportsgrounds
Grant number: Targeted education grant (Urban Stormwater Education Program)
Grant funding: $17,000
Local government area/s: Shoalhaven City Council
Location/s: Jervis Bay/St Georges Basin region of the Shoalhaven
Project partners: Shoalhaven City Council
There are approximately 40 sportsgrounds in the Shoalhaven City Council area that undergo varying levels and types of use. The council has identified litter from these sportsgrounds as a contributor to stormwater pollution in the Shoalhaven LGA.
Engineering solutions have been implemented at some locations to reduce the impact of such pollution, but ongoing community education for particular groups is considered essential to ensure the sustained improvement of water quality in the region.
To reduce the amount of litter entering the urban stormwater system and subsequently the aquatic environment by:
- educating the community about the impact of litter on these systems
- providing information on ways to reduce the amount of litter from sportsgrounds.
A pilot study was undertaken of four sportsgrounds in the Jervis Bay and St Georges Basin regions, to ascertain the kinds of strategies that would cause people to dispose of litter in an environmentally appropriate manner. From this study, city-wide implementation of the successful strategies was undertaken to raise community awareness of litter as a stormwater problem and to assist with more appropriate litter disposal.
Methodology and tools
Preliminary research involved:
- a literature review to determine the nature of littering and the litterer
- a review of council litter collection records
- observational research of sportsgrounds and skate parks
- consultation with council staff and users of sportsgrounds to determine reasons for littering and appropriate strategies to counter these.
Project staff then implemented strategies to educate the public and make appropriate disposal of litter more accessible. These included:
- modifications of bins - one style for smokers and another incorporated into skate park design
- relocation of bins so they were no longer convenient for illegal dumping of commercial waste
- educational signage for bins and sportsground scoreboards, and a 5m x 4m marquee incorporating the logos of the Stormwater Trust and Shoalhaven City Council as well as The Drain is Just for Rain logo from the DECCW - available free of charge to sporting groups
- litter sculptures for display at events and field days to communicate ideas to a diverse audience
- field days and special events.
The project also sponsored the local hockey team jersey.
- The litter sculptures captured the attention of the public and have been used to assist other project teams in developing anti-littering messages.
- The desired growth in public awareness and reduction of littering at sportsgrounds have been difficult to ascertain as this project merged with several other programs run concurrently in the area.
Visual art appeals to the emotions and can be effective in motivating behavioural change.
Project resources and further information
Contact Shoalhaven City Council on (02) 4429 3111.
Page last updated: 26 February 2011