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Pollution

Learn about

Fines

No one likes getting fines! But they exist to protect our environment and human health from pollution. Environmental pollution may be defined as substances that are found in the environment at a greater concentration than would naturally be found, as a result of human activity. A pollution incident includes the instance of when the pollution is occurring, and the instance of when it is likely to occur.

Water pollution - checking our creeks

Water pollution can originate from a variety of sources. These can include things like litter, chemicals, garden clippings, sand and soil.

Street gutters and storm water pits, which are found along all of our roads, drain directly into our local creeks and waterways. Any pollutants that are placed in these areas will drain into these waterways, affecting plants and aquatic life.

Anybody that pollutes our waterways by placing unwanted chemicals and waste down our stormwater drains is committing a water pollution offence. Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, hefty on-the-spot fines of $4000-$8000 can be issued to the person or company who is causing the pollution. In more serious situations, you can even be taken to court for causing water pollution!

Noise pollution

Is your neighbour’s old pool pump causing a racket? Have you been annoyed by your neighbour’s tendencies to stay up late using powertools? Or maybe you thought that no one would mind if you left your air conditioner running right throughout the night? Well, it turns out that these things can be very irritating to some and can cause sleep disturbance to the people around you.

Air pollution

Air pollution can originate from a variety of sources. Many people may think that it is from industrial sources or similar, however, the most common source within residential areas is from backyard burning and wood heaters!

Smoke from wood heaters is a major cause of air pollution. In fact, during winter, wood heaters can produce up to seven times more air pollution than cars!

Land pollution

Land pollution can occur following certain industrial activities which have been carried out at a premise, or where activities have not been carried out in an environmentally friendly way.

Inspector at an industrial site

HEAP

Holroyd City Council conducts regular inspections of all industrial sites within the Holroyd Local Government Area. This is called the Holroyd Environmental Assessment Program (HEAP). Businesses are required to take all reasonable steps to prevent pollution from occurring and to protect the environment.

Erosion and sediment control

Soil erosion from construction sites causes major environmental problems for waterways and aquatic life. Sediments washed into waterways impact heavily on aquatic plants and animals and their habitat. Sedimentation also blocks stormwater drains, causing waterways to silt up and increasing the risk of flooding. A single building site can lose truckloads of soil in one storm!

Cigarette butts littering the ground

Cigarette butts and their environmental impact

If people thought about the environmental impact they were causing every time they threw away a cigarette butt, they probably wouldn’t do it! Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter and make up almost half of all litter. They are a huge threat to the cleanliness of our streets, to waterways and to aquatic life. When cigarette butts are left on the ground to decompose, they release toxic substances into the soil and water. Even after the paper and tobacco breaks down, the filter can remain for up to 12 years. So when you think about the 7 billion cigarette butts that are thrown out each year in Australia, that’s a lot of litter and a lot of damage.

Fines for littering

Littering is a serious issue. That’s why there are fines for doing the wrong thing. On-the-spot fines can be issued for littering, ranging from $80 to $900. This includes litter from uncovered loads, flicking cigarette butts or other items from motor vehicles, leaving rubbish behind at a park or beach, and dumping bags of rubbish or household items like toasters, heaters and fridges.

Why do we give a toss about littering?

No one likes visiting a public place and seeing items of rubbish everywhere. Litter includes items like cigarette butts, food scraps, bottles and packaging. But littering isn’t just ugly. It is an environmental problem. Littering pollutes our waterways, streets and parks and causes environmental damage. Bags of dumped rubbish can attract rats and cause offensive odour too. Littering can also affect an area’s image and tourism income. Would you swim at a beach or picnic in a park with dumped rubbish and litter all around you? Research has shown that littering behaviour is affected by things like lack of social pressure to do the right thing. The message is clear - littering is socially unacceptable behaviour; we are all responsible for the cleanliness of the places we visit; and we must put our rubbish in the bin or take it with us. At the end of the day, it’s bad for the environment, it makes public places look awful, and it makes more sense to invest the millions of dollars it takes to manage litter, into our communities, rather than to clean up the litter.

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Get involved

Clean Up and Littering Abatement Programs

You can help look after our environment by participating in a Clean Up Australia Day event. You can join an existing group or start your own. Get started here.

Animals – noise pollution (barking) and poo-llution

It’s natural for dogs to bark at things that make them uneasy or excited, like fireworks, thunder and strangers, but persistent barking can be perceived as offensive noise. Be courteous to your neighbours and monitor your dog’s barking. Sometimes the neighbour may be unaware that their dog is barking excessively, especially if they are at work all day. A simple conversation with your neighbour can often go a long way in resolving any issues.

And while we are talking dogs and pollution, train your dog not to poop in public places. If it does, pick it up! All it takes is a plastic bag! You can also train your dog to 'go at home'. Start when the dog is young, and make sure you have a place that your dog can use for toilet purposes (even if you do not have a garden).

The way we see it, this is all part of looking after our environment and being a responsible pet owner!