Reducing litter in Cooks River

Inner West Council

Inner West Council has unanimously endorsed an ambitious Cooks River Litter Prevention Strategy that aims to reduce litter by 50 per cent by the year 2025.

The draft Litter Strategy was prepared for the River Canoe Club of NSW in collaboration with the Cooks River Alliance and support of government agencies, community groups and local councils, including Inner West.

Inner West has partnered with other Cooks River councils through the Cooks River Foreshore Working Group (2004-2010) and the Cooks River Alliance (CRA) since 2011.

The draft Strategy will support applications for the next round of EPA NSW Community Litter Prevention Grants program, which recently opened.

“Council works with catchment groups such as Cooks River Alliance and Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) to ensure the Inner West makes the most of our waterways,” said Inner West Mayor Rochelle Porteous,

“We’ve been collaborating for years to improve the health of the Cooks and Parramatta rivers.

“Inner urban rivers are such important national assets. If we can continue to bring these waterways back to life, it will enhance the quality of life for everyone in the Inner West.

“Both the CRA and the PRCG have a shared vision with Inner West Council of making our rivers and waterways swimmable again.

“Preventing pollutants from entering these waterways in the first place is the best way to do this. This can be achieved with help from the community,” said Mayor Porteous.

The target to reduce litter in the catchment by 50 per cent is the same target proposed for the Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour.

According to the Strategy, the most common types of litter in the Cooks River are wrappers, plastic bags, straws, bottle caps, tamper evident bands and micro plastics.

The Strategy outlines who, where and how to tackle litter including pilot actions to achieve the target, and proposes three key directions:

• A network of organisations working collaboratively

• Catchment-scale programs for litter prevention

• Integrated data collection and reporting at catchment scale

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