The City of Rockingham Council, at its Ordinary meeting held on Tuesday 26 February 2019, endorsed the public advertising of a draft Single Use Plastics and Balloons Policy.
The endorsement of the draft policy, along with the supporting “Turn the Tide on Plastic” Guideline, comes after a unanimous decision by Council in August 2018 to address the matter of single use plastics.
The policy proposes controls to minimise the use of disposable plastics by requiring the use of compostable or reusable alternatives. It will apply to all City operations, all traders operating with a permit issued by the City, and any events held in public places or on City-controlled land.
The supporting “Turn the Tide on Plastic” Guideline provides detailed information to assist in making the switch away from single use plastics, while also educating businesses and individuals wishing to reduce their use of plastic. The guideline is the first of its kind in Western Australia.
City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said while similar policies had been introduced in other states, this would be the most extensive policy on plastic for a local government in Western Australia.
“The policy acknowledges the adverse effects of single use plastics on the environment and the need for us to take action in this space,” Mayor Sammels said.
“Rockingham’s unique coastline is very important to our community and way of life. Given the impact that single use plastics have on marine wildlife, this policy is an important step in the right direction for the City.”
The policy is available for public comment until Wednesday 10 April 2019.
Draft Council Policy – Single Use Plastics and Balloons
Turn the Tide on Plastic Guideline
The City of Rockingham has started planning for the enhancement of the Safety Bay and Shoalwater foreshore. Residents are encouraged to have their say in this process through a survey about coastal values.
Initial planning for the enhancement of the Safety Bay and Shoalwater foreshore will be undertaken through the development of a master plan, which will provide a vision for the foreshore for the next 20 to 30 years.
The Master Plan will show how the foreshore will evolve, and will be used as the basis for more detailed planning and funding decisions. It will identify opportunities for enhancing access to, and the usability of, the foreshore and beach, and for improving facilities and amenities. It will not attempt to directly resolve matters outside its area of influence such as marine water quality or ongoing beach management practices.
City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said consultation with the community was an important part of developing the Safety Bay Shoalwater Foreshore Master Plan.
“Early input from the community through the coastal values survey will help the development of the Master Plan, so I encourage all residents to take part in the coastal values survey,” Mayor Sammels said.
“The focus of the master plan project will be to enhance the foreshore experience for the local and wider community, while also aiming to leverage the area’s unique attributes to attract more opportunities for tourism.
The survey will be open until Monday 18 March 2019. It can be completed online via Share Your Thoughts.
Residents can also stay informed throughout the project by signing up to Rock Port and selecting ‘Safety Bay Shoalwater Foreshore Master Plan’ as a topic of interest.
Since being launched in late 2014 the City of Rockingham’s LitterBusters team has collected more than 1,100 tonnes of illegally dumped waste – an average of 30 tonnes per month – from locations across the City, and made a huge impact on the overall amenity of public areas.
Mayor Barry Sammels said “The City of Rockingham was the first local government in WA to develop and deploy a dedicated rapid response team on-call seven days a week. With multiple ways to report litter, the team is kept very busy responding to customers’ requests”
An average of 2,500 LitterBusters requests are made by members of the public each year through the mobile app, the 1800-4-Litter number and online.
“The idea for LitterBusters came about as a response to our Customer Satisfaction Surveys in which residents identified litter as a priority area.” Mayor Sammels said. “Council recognised the need for a concerted effort to address these concerns, so we took the innovative step of creating a dedicated rapid response team. The results over the past three years have been fantastic and we are very pleased to see how the community has responded.”
“LitterBusters has made a big difference to our community and we have seen a significant improvement in the customer satisfaction rating of our performance in litter management since the team commenced.”
LitterBusters responds within 24 hours to all litter-related reports from the community, working seven days a week to ensure a rapid response. The team also focuses on surveillance, investigation, removal and prosecution of illegal dumping.
The LitterBusters app can be downloaded free for Apple and Android devices. Reports can also be made on 1800-4-Litter (1800 454 883)
City of Rockingham residents are encouraged to keep an eye out for the next edition of the City Chronicle newsletter, which will contain a handy sticker guide to assist in properly disposing of recyclables.
The City Chronicle, which is distributed to all households across the City, will include a copy of the Recycling Bin Sticker Guide when the autumn edition arrives in the post throughout late February.
Mayor Barry Sammels said the Recycling Bin Sticker Guide would be a helpful tool for residents when they were recycling.
“In recent times there have been some changes to the recycling industry that have impacted on what people can put into their bins,” Mayor Sammels said.
“To assist residents in properly identifying what they can and can’t recycle, the City is delighted to be able to include a copy of the Recycling Bin Sticker Guide in the autumn edition of the City Chronicle.
“The guide will help the community to improve the quality of recyclables that are entering our recycling bins and will also reduce contamination, which can often affect processing, safety of workers and the final quality of a recycled product.
“Ultimately, the better our recyclables are, the more we can recycle.”
The stickers in the City Chronicle will be suitable for both internal and external recycle bins. Residents are asked to place the stickers on a clean surface on their bin to ensure the instructions are readily available.
If you receive the City Chronicle electronically and would like a bin sticker, call the City on 9528 0333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will arrange to send one out to you.
Hundreds of people from businesses, schools, community groups and individuals have registered to clean up a site this weekend.
The City would like to thank all participants for their time in helping to rid the environment of litter. Please remember to be sun safe and stay hydrated.
Want to join a clean-up? Visit the Clean Up Australia Day website to volunteer a public clean up event.
For those events that have requested a collection from LitterBusters, please remember to separate the recycling bags from general waste bags.