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Communities across the north coast of New South Wales are tourist magnets this time of year - in Byron Bay alone there are about 1.8 million visitors a year, most come in summer, and they eat a lot of takeaway food, buy a lot of groceries and drink a lot of bottled alcohol (especially the backpackers!). 

The national recycling rates show that residents in this part of the world are among Australia’s best recyclers of trash – however Councils and Waste groups have identified an issue that may be inhibiting the effectiveness of waste recycling in local towns: tourists' rubbish habits.

A Lismore-based uni student has seized the opportunity to do something about addressing this issue and now, tourists visiting the area are being urged to be responsible, respect local towns and do the right thing with their trash.

Social marketing researcher, Kate Neale, has just kicked off her study into the recycling habits of local tourists, as part of her Masters degree through Southern Cross University’s School of Commerce and Management.

She plans to initially focus her research on holiday accommodation and their in-house recycling initiatives. This includes backpackers, motels, hotels and self-catering apartments."The first phase of the research is to send out 1,000 questionnaires to determine the recycling behaviour of tourists," Kate said.

kate_neale1 by you.

She said Byron Shire Council and the North-East Waste Forum have conducted excellent studies in this area in the past. “I hope to build on those foundations and contribute to future initiatives.

“These visitors to the region make an enormous contribution to the waste being generated and it is vitally important that they be encouraged to become conscientious recyclers, just as permanent residents are.”

She plans to use the information to develop a marketing plan which local councils, real estate agencies and other businesses can adopt to encourage their region's tourists to 'do the right thing' when it comes to recycling waste.

Kate hopes all councils with a high tourist population - especially those on the Northern Rivers and in south-east Queensland - will be interested in taking up her recommendations.

Any local businesses interested in participating in her research can get in touch with Kate by emailing kate.neale@scu.edu.au.

Posted: Thursday December 11, 2008

Published: Dec 11, 2008 1:09pm by philippa.

Tags: , , , , , ,

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