Reducing litter

""Brisbane City Council is dedicated to cleaning up the litter in our streets, public spaces and waterways. By using Council's litter bins, you can help make Brisbane a sustainable and green and clean city.

Keep Brisbane clean

We all have a role to play in making Brisbane clean, green and litter-free.

The combined efforts of residents and community groups who work alongside Council to keep our city clean have already helped us to achieve a 50% reduction in on-ground litter across the Central Business District (CBD) and Fortitude Valley since 2009.

Brisbane won the national Keep Australia Beautiful award for best litter prevention and resource recovery in the 2015 Australian Sustainable Cities competition. This award recognises Brisbane’s successful litter prevention, street cleansing and community litter education program.

Brisbane's achievements were recognised again in 2015 when it was named Queensland's most sustainable city 2015 for the third year running in the Keep Queensland Beautiful Cleaner Cities awards

The award recognised Council’s commitment to projects in the areas of:

In 2014 Brisbane won the national award for being the most sustainable city in Australia, in addition to winning the award categories for litter prevention and energy innovation. The 2015 national awards ceremony were hosted by Brisbane City Council on 13 November 2015. 

Cleaner Communities Brisbane Awards 2016

The 2016 Cleaner Communities Brisbane Awards winners were announced at Brisbane City Hall on 12 October 2016. The awards, a parntership between Council, Keep Queensland Beautiful and Suez Environment, recognise the efforts of groups and individuals who contribute to a clean, green and litter-free Brisbane. 

Check out the Cleaner Communities Brisbane Award 2016 winners for the six award categories.

Free reusable bag and Little Book of Litter

Visit your local ward office for a free reusable litter collection bag and free copy of Council's Little Book of Litter to help you clean up your local parks and streets.

Simple things you can do to help

You can help us keep Brisbane clean by:

  • setting a good example by not littering
  • being seen picking up litter to help encourage others to do the same
  • getting involved in cleaning your local area by joining an existing community group or start a regular clean-up
  • carrying your cigarette butts and chewing gum with you or use a portable pocket ashtray until you find  bin - there are cigarette butt bins attached to most Council litter bins
  • taking an empty bag with you to the beach or park to take your rubbish home with you
  • picking up after your dog
  • understanding that throwing waste at the bin and missing is still littering, so take the time to make sure your rubbish actually makes it to the bin
  • using street litter and recycling bins provided by Council for small items only and not for business or household waste
  • when cleaning your footpath, pick up rubbish instead of sweeping or hosing it into the gutters leading to our stormwater drains
  • closing Council wheelie bin lids to avoid waste overflowing and becoming litter - if you need wheelie bin repairs, contact Council
  • when transporting rubbish in a trailer or ute tray, cover the load to stop rubbish from blowing away
  • using Council's annual kerbside collection in your suburb to responsibly dispose of large items
  • reporting littering from vehicles and large piles of rubbish or anything that looks like illegal dumping using the Queensland Government's online reporting tool - the exception is large items put on the street as part of the scheduled Council kerbside collection
  • donating large household items to your local transfer station for charitable resale at Council's tip shops
  • taking your rubbish home if you attend an event in a Council park - bins in parks are not designed for 'event' rubbish.

Community groups and organisations

The Brisbane Cleanup Project

The Brisbane Cleanup Project organises regular cleanups in Brisbane. Join their next cleanup or suggest a site by liking them on Facebook.

Clean Up Australia

Clean Up Australia is well-known for organising Clean Up Australia Day each year, when individuals and community groups register and remove rubbish in their local areas. You can find out more or register for Clean Up Australia events.

Habitat Brisbane

The Habitat Brisbane program helps community groups restore natural habitats in parks, remnant bushland, wetlands and along waterways. Find your local Habitat Brisbane group to join today.

South East Queensland Healthy Waterways

Healthy Waterways is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that works with members from government, industry and the community to protect and improve South East Queensland's waterways. The Healthy Waterways cleanup crew removes more than 250,000 items of litter from our waterways each year.

Keep Queensland Beautiful (KQB)

KQB's programs motivate people to enhance the quality of their local environment through personal initiative and community action programs, such as Adopt-a-Spot, Tidy Towns and Clean Beaches accreditation and awards. Learn more about volunteering or donating to KQB.

The KQB Cleaner Communities Brisbane Awards, a partnership between Council, KQB and Suez Envrionment, recognise the commitment and passion of Brisbane residents who contribute to a clean and green Brisbane. Brisbane was named Queensland's most sustainable city for the third time in 2015. 

Queensland Youth Environment Council (QYEC)

QYEC is an independent youth-led committee of 12-25 year olds, providing advice on key environmental issues to the Queensland Government and Keep Queensland Beautiful (secretariat). Find out more about the Queensland Youth Environment Council.

Litter and the law

Littering and illegal dumping may attract on the spot fines between $243 and $1950 so ensure you dispose of your rubbish responsibly. To help maintain clean streets, Council Officers can issue fines for anyone caught littering. Fines include:

  • $243 for general littering
  • $487 for dangerous littering

In a recent Brisbane City Council survey, approximately 80% of Brisbane residents believed that people who litter should be fined. We also know that 94% of residents believe Council is working with the community to reduce litter and keep Brisbane clean and green.

24 March 2017