April 7, 2019

Can street gardens help to reduce illegal kerbside dumping?

Story by Nicola Saltman — March 2019

Dumped rubbish on our streets is an ongoing issue for us in Bondi and surrounds. Aside from fining offenders, how else can we tackle this issue head-on? 

Read below for how Waverley Council has been working to address this in a few ways, by building community pride in our neighbourhoods and beautifying spaces. 

Waverley Council has partnered with Wayside Chapel to trial temporary street gardens to reduce illegal dumping near the Warners Avenue Op Shop. The verge site on Niblick Street and Warners was chosen after persistent dumping had been reported to Council by members of the public and documented by our waste enforcement staff.

Whether well-intended as donations or not, dumped items are an eyesore and a hazard, not to mention costly in time and financial resources to clean up. Leaving anything on the kerb, whether in good shape or bad, creates an unfair burden for someone else. It’s also a powerful signal to passers-by that a space is available for dumping, which can worsen and entrench the problem. 

Wayside estimates that a quarter of the donations they receive to their Warners Avenue location are either unsaleable, unsuitable, or outright rubbish.

Beautification is a strategy recommended by the NSW EPA as a way to deter illegal dumping, and has been used with success by other Australian councils. Street gardens can not only reframe a dumping ground as a treasured space, they can grow connections within a neighbourhood.

My street is your street

We won’t solve the issue of illegal dumping without a connected community. This is one of the themes behind this summer’s My Street is Your Street campaign. You might even recognise a few of the friendly faces involved. The campaign features real Bondi residents and their stories of how they take care of their streets. We invited this diverse group of Bondi residents to share with us what they love about their neighbourhood. One common thread was that connecting with others on their street promoted a sense of well-being. In fact, not one but several of our volunteer models mentioned that building or tending small communal gardens on their street helped nurture community connections and make Bondi feel like home.


Council supports neighbourhood improvement projects

Waverley Council encourages residents to take an active role in the way their neighbourhood looks and feels, including creating street gardens. Council can provide support through the application process to ensure safe and fair use of public space. Learn more about the street garden application process online


Tell us what you think about the Warners Avenue pop up street gardens

The demonstration gardens at Niblick Street and Warners Avenue will be in place until late May 2019, and will remain after that time only if the local community would like to maintain them. You can complete a feedback postcard onsite, or get in touch with Council’s Local Connections Coordinator by email [email protected] or by phone 9083 8916


This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

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