Wollondilly councillors are concerned that roadside rubbish is the first impression tourists get when they enter the shire.
They are concerned about the lost tourism revenue and are encouraging locals to take pride in their community and not litter.
Councillor Michael Banasik raised the issue at the last council meeting and the council will now look into ways of cleaning up the excessive amount of roadside rubbish.
He also wants the council to include the cost of employing extra workers in the next budget.
“If we want our shire to look good when tourists visit then the council needs to put resources into tidying up the roadways,” Cr Banasik said.
“Our shire is huge and we need to employ people full time to clean up the area.”
Cr Ray Law said this issue had been raised several times by councillors and he was concerned about its impact on Wollondilly’s tourism.
“It is a real shame when motorists come off the highway and they see food and drinks containers on the road,” he said. “The litter on the side of the road looks disgraceful.
The litter on the side of the road looks disgraceful.Councillor Ray Law
“I heard a story that at least one group of tourists came into Bargo they turned right around because there was too much rubbish.”
Cr Blair Briggs said the council needed to create and build residents’ sense of pride because then locals were more unlikely to litter.
Cr Banasik is also calling on residents to take responsibility for the appearance of the shire.
“I wish we didn’t have to tell people not to litter but we have a bad culture in Australia of littering,” he said.
Cr Law said prevention rather than a cure was key.
“We need to educate residents and encourage them to keep their area clean,” Cr Law said.
“I know dobbing in someone is ‘unAustralian’ but people should be penalised, especially repeat offenders.”
Wollondilly Council supports and promotes the state government’s Hey Tosser campaign.
The campaign allows motorists who have seen litter thrown out the window to report the driver’s registration details to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Cr Law said towns near the highway were the hotspot areas.
“Litter is a shire wide problem but the entrances at Bargo and Warragamba are worst. It seems that drivers throw their rubbish out the window,” he said.