Manly sees red over litter

Article image - Manly sees red over litter Manly LitterGuards on patrol during summer.

On patrol during the summer months of December, January and February, the LitterGuards ensure Manly is ‘litter free’ for the millions of people that visit the pristine Ocean Beach each year. They undertake training and education on litter regulations and community education techniques.  

Millions of visitors arrive in Manly every year, attracted by one of the best surf beaches in Australia and superb views of Sydney Harbour. However, they leave tonnes of litter behind them, including plastic bags, bottles, cans, polystyrene cups, plates, cutlery, food wrappers and mounds of other rubbish.

Manly Mayor, Councillor Jean Hay, said Council’s beach cleansing teams must scour the beach every day both by hand and with tractor operated beach rakes and other appliances.

“The LitterGuards campaign employs a range of educational approaches, including signage, posters and anti littering messages presented face to face by Council staff,” she said. “LitterGuards were approaching beachgoers and other members of the public daily, engaging them in conversation and communicating our community’s urgent need to keep Manly litter free.

“Manly has only a small population of its own, but we must clean up after some five to eight million visitors from around the world each year.”

Mayor Hay said high visibility branding was used throughout the campaign, including the LitterGuard uniforms, a red solar power hybrid patrol ‘golf buggy’, signage and promotional giveaway, which were offered as gestures of appreciation to those showing good litter disposal practices.

“Council Rangers patrolling the beach area during the LitterGuards’ beach patrols also wore red shirts to help spread the campaign’s message,” she said. “Beach goers, particularly tourists and groups of teenagers, were approached and given a friendly reminder to take their rubbish away with them. Use of Council’s public place recycling bins was also encouraged, and littering fines were handed out as a last resort.”

This was the third year that Council has run the LitterGuard program. The Beach Cleansing Team believe the program has been successful in reducing the amount of litter left behind, with a vast visual improvement and a very positive response from residents and tourists alike.