The Marlborough Litter Project (MLP) has now been completed.
The milestone reports are listed below.
The project recommendations and initial responses are summarised below. Further work will continue across 2019/20 to progress these matters.
Recommendations from Report (Year 1)
Develop a strategic plan that resonates with the philosophies across all departments that bear responsibility for litter service provision.
Include a prerequisite within documentation for leasing public spaces that encourages the public, not only the organiser, to participate in appropriate litter disposal methods.
Seek community representatives to take part in focus or working group meetings to capitalise on good will: local people generally have access to knowledge of practical issues within communities.
Engage a person capable of working across business and community sectors in respect of raising awareness of litter responsibilities and litter reduction. Arguably of greater importance is that this person raises awareness within MDC of the types of circumstances in respect of littering issues that people experience across the region.
Across the region, establish bulk recycling containers adjacent to supermarkets or other suitable sites. Excess recycling material can be brought from home, and containers can be available to visitors during peak season times.
Across the region, introduce MDC branded litter bags for general waste disposal, to include a collection service. While potentially unpopular at a time when public opinion appears to support a reduction in plastic bag use, extending the reach of MDC branded litter bags would establish a standardised method for permanent resident and visitors that includes disposal charge. Taking services into communities would signal an awareness of changing demographics, for example an ageing population, would go some way to bolstering community inclusion and wellbeing. This could potentially reduce the illegal dumping of household rubbish.
Recommendations from Report (Year 2)
Lobby for compulsory product stewardship requirement for all manufacturers in order that the economic burden to the ratepayer is reduced.
Any potential for alternative solution making may be hampered by current ways of working- recalibrate internal systems by ‘thinking differently’ about litter across departments.
Explore the possibility of similar litter service provision for towns and townships across the district, which could potentially extend to refuse and recycling collection.
Critically reflect on the contribution of advertising, sales techniques and the offloading of supermarket waste into the domestic stream, for example promotional fliers and cardboard box displacement in lieu of single use plastic bag ban.
Advertise and support community clean up events: actively recognise volunteer labour contribution. Consider providing administration resources for volunteers.
Establish a ‘litter centric’ focus group to empower people to advocate for their communities.
Consider employing an additional resource for the Solid Waste Department to work across stakeholder groups to inspire and coordinate litter reduction across the district.