ASHES TO ANSWERS
Revealed: Anti-littering plan poses club question to smokers
MT DRUITT smokers are being encouraged to have a say as they “stash their trash”.
An innovative new bin is taking the anti-littering campaign in Australia to a new level.
The ballot bin, trialled in the UK last year, asks smokers to “vote” with their butts as they deposit them in a clear two-sided container.
Over the past two weeks, smokers around Dawson Mall at Mt Druitt have puffed and pondered the question: Who is the better team, Wanderers or Sydney FC?
“I’d definitely say put it in the Wanderers,” keeper Matt Symes said. At last count the Wanderers were in front.
THE people of Mt Druitt can now vote with their butts — their cigarette butts, that is.
A bright yellow bin has been mounted in Dawson Mall in Mt Druitt with a topical question designed to encourage the opinionated to have their say, and two clear windows for each answer.
The initiative is designed to encourage smokers to put their butts in the bin and stop littering.
A “voter” places a butt in one of two sides of the bin, and the side with the most butts wins.
The first question was: Who is the better team — Wanderers or Sydney FC?
At the time of our photo, the Wanderers were a few puffs ahead of Sydney FC.
The question will be changed regularly until the bins are taken down in December.
This week’s question is: AC/DC or Metallica?
According to the 2015-16 National Litter Index, cigarette butts make up 43 per cent of the total litter stream.
About 20 million cigarette butts are dropped around Australia daily (seven billion a year), costing taxpayers a whopping $350 million.
Keep Australia Beautiful chief executive Philip Robinson said all Australians, whether smoking or nonsmoking, should ensure they put their rubbish in the bin.
“Litter is everyone’s problem and we all need to work together to tackle the issue,” Mr Robinson said.
“Cigarette butts might be small, but it’s a big problem for Australia.”
The bin received a mixed reaction from residents but Belinda Flaherty, of Mt Druitt, said it was a great idea.
I think people need to take more pride in their area and try to keep it a bit tidier than what it is
“It keeps the stuff off the ground,” Ms Flaherty said.
“I think people need to take more pride in their area and try to keep it a bit tidier than what it is.”
While the Western Sydney Wanderers do not encourage smoking, goalkeeper Matthew Symes urged smokers to do the right thing.
“There’s nothing better than living in a clean healthy country,” Symes said.
“If you had to put (your butt) in one of these, I definitely say put it in the Wanderers.”
Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali said he hoped the idea would reduce the financial burden on council.
“A ‘ballot bin’ ... is one of the innovative methods introduced in Blacktown in a bid to reduce the $14.78 million spent by Western Sydney councils every year on litter,” Cr Bali said.
The ballot bin campaign was first trialled by Hubbub in the UK as part of the Neat Streets program in 2015 and was launched in the Blacktown Council LGA as part of Keep Australia Beautiful Week 2016.
Another ballot bin is locate ed near the post office in M Main St, Blacktown.
Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Matthew Symes gives the new Butt Bin in Dawson Mall, at Mt Druitt, a thumbs-up.