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One of two piles collected today. I have another photo of a similar pile collected last Friday. Photo by Leonie Sinclair used with thanks 🙂

A friend sent me these photos of Steel Park with the following message –

“Litter covers all three oval spaces & this is only some of it because I don’t really want to spend any more of Mother’s Day collecting other people’s garbage.”

She regularly spends time picking up all the litter dropped in the playing fields of Steel Park.

Can the sports clubs not do better than this?  Why do they not take their empty drink bottle & other garbage with them?

It’s a terrible message to give young people that they can simply leave their garbage behind when it has such a negative impact on the environment, especially with the river so close.  The players need to respect the park, the community & the wildlife & take their garbage home.

Maybe Inner West Council should think about intervening.  One idea is to oblige clubs to read out a short message about respect to the environment to players before each game & the Captains required to ensure all litter is removed before anyone leaves.

I do not think the rate-payers should be paying for Council staff to pick up litter left behind by sporting groups.

Another half pile of litter collected from the playing fields at Steel Park today. Photo by Leonie Sinclair used with thanks 🙂

Cooks River - this is not okay.

Cooks River – this is not okay.

Potentially fantastic news for the environment with the state government saying they want to introduce a ‘Cash for Containers’ recycling scheme in NSW.

“Under the NSW scheme, schools & charities will be encouraged to raise funds by collecting containers for cash, likely to be set at a 10c rebate.  Beverages companies will be allowed to increase drink prices by the amount of the deposit, and only need to pay the deposit on redeemed containers.” See –

Sadly the Australian Beverages Council “has threatened to run attack advertising against the Government during the March election if cabinet voted in favour of a container deposit policy.”

Their threat can be taken seriously because in 2013, Coca-Cola, Schweppes & Lion Nathan challenged the Northern Territory government in the federal court to try & stop their Cash for Containers scheme.

Personally I think it is reprehensible for these companies to do their utmost & put millions of dollars into attempting to prevent a scheme that is not only environmentally responsible, but also will go a long way to cleaning up our waterways, lakes & oceans.   Keeping the status quo of environmental destruction is extremely sad.

A ten cent rebate on drink containers in the Northern Territory resulted in a return of a massive 35-million containers in the first 12-months of the scheme’s operation.   How anyone can think that it is better to have 35-million drink containers littering the environment is beyond my understanding.

Locally, the Cooks River, The Alexandra Canal, Wolli Creek & Botany Bay will benefit immensely with the introduction of a ‘Cash for Containers’ scheme.

Most of us are appalled at the state of the Cooks River with thousands upon thousands of drink containers lining the riverbank.  They send a terrible message to everyone, especially the younger generation, about respecting & caring for the environment. Young people would benefit by having a way to earn pocket money & knowing that they are helping keep the environment clean at the same time.

The beverage companies must be aware that the bulk of the community are sick of seeing beverage container litter destroying our environment & waterways.   We want a clean environment & I doubt too many would be supportive of any attempt to stop a Cash for Containers scheme.

The Boomerang Alliance has said that a rebate scheme results in well over 80% of drink bottles & cans returned for recycling.   Any program that reduces litter has to be applauded.

Alexandria Canal in Tempe

Alexandria Canal in Tempe.  It distresses me to see the riverbank looking like this.

This is a common sight.

This is a common sight.

The City of Sydney Council is once again leading the way by trialing reverse vending machines that accept empty drink cans & plastic bottles. These machines are already in use in Europe, Japan, China & Brazil.

City of Sydney Council has installed the machines in two busy locations –

  • Bus Stand C on Alfred Street Circular Quay &
  • Dixon Street Mall in Chinatown.

The Council has chosen to reward people who use the machines by offering them a chance to win something.  You get to choose from “bus tickets, 2 for 1 food vouchers from City of Sydney food trucks, or a chance to be in the draw to win two tickets to the 2014 Sydney New Year’s Eve Dawes Point event or you can choose to donate your reward to Clean Up Australia.”

“15,000 bottles & cans are littered or landfilled in Australia every minute. It is a fact that a ‘cash for container’ scheme, will reduce litter & increase recycling rates to 80 – 95%. South Australia is leading the way with such a scheme & has double the rate of recycling than the rest of the country.”

I think it is a brilliant idea. Beverage companies Coca-Cola Amatil, along with Schweppes Australia & Lion Pty Ltd won a Federal Court case against a Northern Territory container deposit scheme in 2013.   There has been no evidence of agreeing to Cash for Containers schemes in the Northern Territory or elsewhere in Australia.  South Australia has continued to run their scheme successfully.

Even though there are only two machines in Sydney at the moment, they are removing drink containers that would likely have ended up as litter & in our harbour & waterways. Each reverse vending machine can hold 3,000 drink containers before needing to be emptied.

I’d like to see them everywhere. Can you imagine the positive impact on the Cooks River if these reverse vending machines were all over Marrickville LGA & the other municipalities along the Cooks River?

Maybe if these could win people something, they would put them in a reverse vending machine.

Maybe if these cans & bottle could win people something, they would put them in a reverse vending machine instead of leaving them to finally end up in the river.

Welcome to the park

Welcome to the park

This was Tempe Reserve at 4.30pm yesterday after a community festival was held here last Easter Saturday. Words fail me. This is not okay for the community who did this, or for the people who come to relax in the park & it is definitely not okay for the wildlife & the Cooks River where a lot of this garbage ends up.

I do not understand how they could have walked away leaving such a mess. Nor do I understand why communities are allowed to hire this area when they leave such a mess & put the river at a huge risk.   Surely it is reasonable to expect respectful use of the space & that it be left in the condition it was given to them.

As a minimum, organizations that hire our public spaces & disrespect them should be made to pay an upfront fee in order to cover the cost of cleaning up after them.

It was not a place suitable for community use yesterday – on a sunny Easter weekend when it is expected that a lot of people will go to the park.  We don’t go to the park to sit or play amidst other people’s litter.

Tomorrow is Earth Day  where we celebrate this great planet that we live on & the environment.  It’s obvious that there is still a long way to go in terms of some people respecting the environment.

I made a short video –

Plastic sheet on its way to the Cooks River 100-metres away

Plastic sheet on its way to the Cooks River 100-metres away

The photos do not show the extent of the mess

My photos do not show the extent of the mess



Just one handful & there was more.

Just one handful & there was more.

Too far to walk up here to the Tangler Bin & dispose of their line responsibly.

Too far to walk up here to the Tangler Bin & dispose of their line responsibly.

Three people spent 20-minutes picking up metres upon metres of discarded fishing line & hooks from the riverbank in the popular fishing area next to the rail bridge at Kendrick Park at Tempe.   Frankly, the dangerous mess was disgusting.

I wish NSW Fisheries & Council Rangers policed fishing along the river.  I’ll bet this sport becomes even more popular in the next 5-years.  Can you imagine the destruction & the visible eyesore if this disregard for the environment is not nipped in the bud?

There are plenty of responsible anglers – it is just the slack people who will ruin it for the many & it is their litter that causes much pain & suffering for wildlife.  It’s not fair to them & it is not fair to the community either.

A few drinks while thye fished.

A few drinks while they fished.

 The riverbank was covered in fishing line, as was the path & the side of the path.

The riverbank was covered in fishing line, as was the path, under the bridge & the side of the path.

A full plastic shopping bag of discarded fishing line & hooks was collected.

A full plastic shopping bag of discarded fishing line & hooks was collected.

A shackled Ibis seen today.  She has only two toes left on one foot, so it looks like she has been injured by fishing line before.

A shackled Ibis seen today. It appears she has only two toes left on one foot, so it looks like she has been injured by fishing line before.  They do feel pain & they do suffer.

Crab pot - I am sure these are illegal.  How many more are hiding, submerged in the river?

Crab pot – I am sure these are illegal. How many more are hiding, submerged in the river?  As it is it is not uncommon to see people digging the mud for crabs.




Steel Park park has the nicest shade of all our parks in my opinion.

I’m often going on about litter, so it was lovely to cycle to Steel Park yesterday evening & see the park looking immaculate, ready for the weekend crowds. Marrickville Council had obviously done a lot of work, as there was not a speck of litter anywhere & all the play areas were swept & tidy.  Steel Park looked glorious, especially now that all the leaves of the Poplar trees have grown back during spring.  This park has a bit of everything & it is no wonder it is so popular with the community.  Soon there will be a coffee van, which for coffee lovers will make it a piece of heaven on the Cooks River.

Immaculate. Not a scrap of litter anywhere to be seen.

All the play areas were clean & all the woodchip swept back into place.


This video was shared with me on Facebook & I thought it was worth sharing here. ‘The Fun Theory’ ‪ say, “they believe that the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better is by making it fun to do.” 

They adapted an ordinary street bin with sound effects & because it was fun & captured the interest of people, 72kgs of litter was collected over one day, 41kg more than another bin a short distance away.  This astounded me, but if it works, why not.

Marrickville – it’s been here for weeks & just gets bigger & bigger. 

Found today on the bank of the Cooks River - many metres of fishing line tied at each end to what smells like 2 poo bags. This kind of litter has the potential to cause extreme & long-term suffering to wildlife, especially birds.

I give this poor Ibis as an example of the damage discarded fishing line can do. He has line wrapped tightly around his ankle & a number of toes. His health is deteriorating & he is obviously suffering much pain. This was totally preventable.


2009 research has shown that green leafy shopping strips result in 11% more spending by shoppers.

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