Huge piles of rubbish that ended up on North Wollongong Beach after Monday night's storm highlight the city's littering problem, Wollongong City Council says.
The council's environmental program co-ordinator Mike McKeon said clean-up teams collected at least 30 bags of plastic waste - mostly made up of plastic bottles - on the 200-metre strip of beach near Puckeys Estate on Tuesday.
They also spent the day collecting timber, tree roots, tyres, cans and other refuse that washed down Fairy Creek in the downpour, in preparation for machinery to clear and recycle the green waste.
"This rubbish - not the natural stuff but the rubbish - has been generated from our streets," Mr McKeon said.
"Everything that has been dropped in the streets gets blown into the drain and when the rain comes along it gets washed into our waterways and onto our beaches."
He said the council was seeking grants to help attack the growing problem and reminded residents there were expensive fines for littering.
"Put your rubbish in the bin and if there's no bin provided take it home with you," he said.
"And don't throw it out of your car ... it's just not acceptable."
Mr McKeon said he hoped the beach would be cleared by the end of the week, but warned further rain could add to the problem.
Council staff worked throughout Monday night assisting police and the State Emergency Service across the city, where flooding and other issues closed roads, caused landslides and blocked drains.