Zero litter in Georges River

Georges Riverkeeper Logo
Australian Government Logo

A gross problem

Rainfall on hard surfaces like footpaths, roofs and roads, runs off into stormwater drains, washing pollution from streets into creeks and rivers. Litter pollution in waterways is poisoning our environment.

A healthy environment is vital for human health, safety and wellbeing. Zero litter in the Georges River means a healthier and safer river for people to enjoy, and the survival of the plants and animals that depend on it.

95% of the pollution in the Georges River comes from stormwater runoff.
Source: Georges River Combined Councils’ Committee, “Georges River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan” 2013, p22
Litter in the drain

Litter isn’t just rubbish. Anything not disposed of properly can become litter.

Litter includes plastics, paper, cans, cigarette butts, green waste such as garden clippings and soil, organic waste such as food scraps and dog poo, chemicals, oils, detergents, fertilisers, and building materials.

Source: https://kab.org.au/research/

Plastics in the ocean

By 2050, it’s estimated that the amount of plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish.

Source: Ellen McCarthur Foundation, 2017, as cited in DAWE, 2021. Ellen McCarthur Foundation, “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking The Future Of Plastics and Catalysing Action” (2017) page 10. As cited in DAWE 2021, National Plastics Plan 2021, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Canberra, December. CC BY 4.0.

Microplastics

You eat about a credit card of plastic per week

Plastics don’t break down, they break up into small pieces called microplastics that stay in the environment for centuries and can enter food webs, even ending up in our food!

Source: Investigators from the University of Newcastle and Macquarie University as cited in Eccelston, R. (2021, October 23-24). Are microplastics making us sic. The Weekend Australian.

Dead fish in the river

‘Natural’ pollution can be nasty.

Increased nutrients from dog poo, green waste, soil and sediment can cause toxic algae in waterways which can make people sick or kill them. It can kill fish and other animals too.

Drains to waterways

Unlike water that goes down a toilet or sink, stormwater does not go through a water treatment facility before it flows into the Georges River. Everything that goes down the street drain could end up in our creeks and rivers.

Watch the video

Trapping gross pollution

GPTs are Gross Pollutant Traps installed by your local council to help stop some of the larger litter ending up in waterways. They do not capture microplastics, chemicals or pathogens. There are many different types of GPTs. GPTs can quickly get full and stop working, especially if there’s been lots of rain.

Watch the video

How to be a litter quitter

Put rubbish in the bin
Put rubbish in the bin
Keep bin lids closed
Keep bin lids closed
Rake leave and grass clippings
Rake leaves and grass clippings into a green waste bin
Pick up your dog's poo
Pick up your dog’s poo
Use council e-waste services
Use your council’s E-waste and Chemical CleanOut services
Wash your car on the grass
Wash your car on the grass or use low-phosphorus detergent
Zero the turtle avatar
Be like Zero. Make your pledge

Get a photo with Zero and pledge to create zero litter. Snap and share it.

Make a pledge

Tell your friends

Lesson plans for schools

Lesson plans icon

Free, online lessons developed by professional environmental educators to help your school community reduce litter in your local area.

Get resources
Get a selfie with Zero

Make your pledge to reaching Zero Litter in Georges River with Zero the turtle.

  • Use your phone to scan the QR code
  • Launch the App
  • Take a selfie with Zero
  • Share it with your friends #ZeroLitterInGeorgesRiver
Zero Litter WebAR

Latest News

Georges Riverkeeper in collaboration with students from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Georges Hall and artist Corey Nichols, aka Born Ready Artist, has unveiled striking footpath artworks at locations in Garrison Point, Lake Gillawarna, and outside St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Georges Hall. These thought-provoking creations aim to raise awareness about plastic pollution in our rivers and creeks while encouraging responsible litter disposal practices.

Posted: 10 August, 2023
Georges Riverkeeper has released a Practical Guide for Gross Pollutant Trap (GPT) Planning, Design & Procurement to assist member Councils with planning, design, specification, and operation of GPTs.
Posted: 26 June, 2023
As part of the Zero Litter in Georges River project to reduce stormwater pollution in the Georges River, several of Georges Riverkeeper’s member councils undertook priority projects rectifying Gross Pollutant Traps (GPTs) in the catchment. Liverpool City Council opted to undertake an audit of existing GPTs to assess the condition and performance of the GPTs in the area.
Posted: 26 June, 2023

New footpath artworks have been installed in Connells Point, Hurstville, and Oatley to help encourage you to dispose of litter thoughtfully.

Artworks have been designed by local students at Connells Point Public School and painted by Corey Nichols, aka Born Ready Artist.

There’s a surprise waiting for you if you scan the QR code near the artworks with your phone. You’ll get to see a talking turtle pop up on the pavement! Don’t forget to turn your sound up!

Posted: 04 April, 2023

Zero Litter in Georges River

Students are taking their anti-littering messages to the street as part of the ‘Zero Litter in Georges River’ program developed by Georges Riverkeeper with funding from the Australian Government and support from local Councils who are upgrading crucial stormwater management infrastructure.

Posted: 07 December, 2022

Fairfield City Council Mayor Frank Carbone and Cr Kevin Lam met with students from Bossley Park Public School to look at their colourful new artworks painted on footpaths near local stormwater drains.

The awesome designs were inspired by the students’ work for the ‘Zero Litter to Georges River’ program.

They encourage you to stop, think and avoid litter and pollution going down the drain and ending up in our waterways and then the river.

Posted: 21 November, 2022

Georges Riverkeeper is committed to best practice environmental management for a liveable urban river. We want you to enjoy, learn about, and help the Georges River.

Georges Riverkeeper is committed to best practice environmental management for a liveable urban river. We want you to enjoy, learn about, and help the Georges River.