Why do people litter?

Topics despises litterbugs.

Sadly, there’s a lot of this type of grub around. This is obvious because there’s a lot of rubbish around.

Do we need tougher litter laws? Is that the answer?

We went to Singapore a few years back and the place was immaculate. That country doesn’t tolerate litterbugs.

It fines offenders up to $2000 for a first conviction. A second offence can attract a $4000 fine and a third $10,000.

The courts can impose “corrective work orders”, which require offenders to clean public areas for up to 12 hours.

These penalties aren’t just there for show. Singapore officials proactively issue thousands of littering fines each year.

We’re not so sure if it’d be good to go down the path of this Asian tiger, which is considered to be a kind of capitalist-socialist dictatorship.

We’d never want Australia to be a dictatorship. Australia has to be free. Problem is, that seems to equate to people being free to litter.

The Redhead to Belmont coastal strip is a common area for littering.

Perhaps folks like Wayne Franklin have the answer to our littering troubles.

Wayne noticed a few years back that rubbish was “constantly building on the beach”.

That night, he went home and created the Facebook page, “Redhead to Blacksmiths Beach. Let’s keep it clean”.

His aim was to educate people using the area to clean up after themselves.

He came up with a theme of “one bag, one vehicle”.

This encouraged beach users to bring an extra rubbish bag when visiting the area. 

“And if you see rubbish near where you are set up, bag it and take it home to your general waste.”

He also uses the hashtag slogan “#prideinourbackyard”, which he says has made a big difference in educating locals and visitors.

“Awareness, education and respect are three key factors in keeping this piece of paradise clean and safe for generations to enjoy,” he said.

Earlier this year, the group did a clean-up after the Australia Day long weekend and “our volunteers told us they seriously had to search for waste to pick up”.

“This is due to the education, as well as people really starting to take ownership of the area,” he said.

This year, the group will hold three clean-up days, with the first on Saturday.

They also used excavators in a recent targeted clean-up at Belmont South.

“This was a huge job with five burned-out cars removed, as well as a large amount of scrap and building and household waste. 

“We will target one of these areas once a year and hopefully one day have these areas clean and secure.”

Alice Cooper Sign

Topics reported on Wednesday that an Alice Cooper sign had been pilfered. The sign was promoting the iconic rocker’s gig at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Tuesday, October 24.

Alice Cooper and Steve “Mac” McLennan.

Alice Cooper and Steve “Mac” McLennan.

Topics pondered whether the cheeky thief was a bored schoolkid or a 50-something die-hard rock fan.

Fingers were quickly pointed at Steve “Mac” McLennan, who played the ageing rocker in an Alice Cooper tribute show.

“Imagine my surprise at being woken on Wednesday by multiple texts, messages and phone calls, inquiring ‘did you pinch the Alice Cooper billboard from the entertainment centre?’,” Mac told Topics in an email.

“Yep, I fit the description. I'm 50-something and a total Cooperholic. I have a sizeable collection of Alice Cooper memorabilia and rare collectibles dating back to the band’s Cortez High School days.

“But with regard to the billboard, I am totally innocent. More to the point, I was caught napping.

“I had scoped it out and formulated a plan, but thought better of it and had decided to contact the venue/promoter at a suitable time and ask if I could have it. Alas, it is gone.

“In honesty if I was going to steal it, I would have taken all three panels – not left one behind. 

“My hope is that whoever did take it has put it safely aside, awaiting to present it to me as the coolest Xmas gift of 2017.”

Mac signed off with: “See you at the gig in October” and “Remember The Coop!”.

  • topics@theherald.com.au