A perspective on littering attitudes in Australia

Madhani, Jehangir T., Dawes, Les A., & Brown, Richard J. (2009) A perspective on littering attitudes in Australia. The Environmental Engineer: Journal of the Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering, 9(4), pp. 13-20.

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Street litter is a growing problem both in residential and commercial areas despite decades of anti-litter campaign efforts. During urban wet weather flows, litter is transported into receiving waterways and can have a devastating impact on the environment. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the past and present Australian littering culture and its potential impact on the environment. To this end, photographs from the National library archives are analysed together with results obtained from a field litter study conducted in Brisbane. Results reveal the major source of litter is essentially organic, consisting of grass clippings, leaves, twigs and fine sediments. On pedestrian routes and in open spaces near public services, litter is dominated by cigarettes butts. Smoking bans may have shifted the problem of disposing the cigarettes butts from ashtrays to the outdoor environment while loitering or walking on streets. Observations also show that public spaces where greenery is cultivated to promote pleasant surroundings are used as a dumping site for human derived material. While architects and planners are keen to promote the concept of green roofs’ and walls the potential to generate street litter increases.

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ID Code: 20557
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Journal no longer in print.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Litter, gross pollutants, gross pollutant traps, organic matter, cigarette butts, stormwater, littering, green buildings, history of littering
ISSN: 1447-9435
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > History and Theory of the Built Environment (excl. Architecture) (120502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Management (050205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering not elsewhere classified (090799)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering/ Engineers Australia
Copyright Statement: Non-commercial personal use only. Contact copyright owner for permission to use article.
Deposited On: 20 May 2009 02:51
Last Modified: 02 May 2017 05:55

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