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NSW grubbiest state in Australia: index

A national litter index ranking NSW the grubbiest state in Australia is not surprising, the state opposition says.

NSW is now the most littered state according to the National Litter Index, compiled by Keep Australia Beautiful.

An average of 75 items of litter for every 1000 sq m were found in NSW in 2009-10.

Cigarettes, paper and plastic items were the most common litter items, with cigarettes accounting for 46 per cent of the waste.

Western Australia topped the index last year.

Keep Australia Beautiful national chairman Don Chambers said the report found many Australians were still littering, despite increased awareness about the need to protect our environment.

"At the end of the day it comes down to individual behaviour," Mr Chambers said.

"Individuals need to take responsibility for the rubbish they produce and where it ends up."

Opposition environment spokeswoman Catherine Cusack said the NSW government's waste levy was to blame for the increase in littering.

"The Keneally Labor government is not only failing to enforce its own litter laws, its decision to tax rubbish up to $70 a tonne is making the problem worse," Ms Cusack said in a statement on Sunday.

The government's waste levy has increased to $70.30 a tonne in Sydney, $65.30 in the Hunter Valley and Illawarra and $20.40 a tonne in other regions, Ms Cusack said.

"The Keneally Labor government's levy is supposed to be creating a price disincentive to burying waste in landfill," she said.

"But with most of the tax in disappearing revenues, and Labor's waste minimisation and recycling strategy in limbo, it is no wonder we are seeing a major increase in littering, especially illegal dumping."

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald


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