Did you know that it is an offence to place material in the gutter? Rainwater that falls and collects in the gutter, otherwise known as stormwater, is protected under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, Sect 120. In this section it is prohibited for a person to pollute ‘any waters’.
Any ‘prescribed matter’ as identified in schedule 5 of the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2022 (which includes any leaves, grass, sawdust, soil, sand, dog poo, oil and paints) that is “placing or on, or otherwise introducing into or onto the waters (whether through an act or omission) any matter, whether solid, liquid or gaseous” into any drain, channel or gutter used or designed to receive or pass rainwater is classed as an offence.
A person who is guilty of such an offence may receive a penalty notice for the offence consisting of a fine of $4,000 for individuals or $8,000 for corporations.
It is not acceptable to sweep material in the gutter for the street sweeper to collect. Operating on a fortnightly basis, the street sweeper cannot mitigate the environmental impact polluted stormwater can have on our natural waterways.
The following actions can be used as an alternative to sweeping material into the gutter:
|Use a bin
|General waste can be swept up from the footpath or road and placed into your weekly-collected red waste bin. Garden vegetation and leaves from trees can be swept up and placed in your green waste bin.
|Composting is natural and inexpensive, it’s great for soil and the garden. Compost bins can be purchased from Bunnings Warehouse.
It is not illegal to sweep up leaves off the footpath but it is illegal to place them in the gutter once they have been swept up.
If you witness any one committing such an offence please report it to Council by email to email@example.com or on 02 9879 9400.