Litter & Illegal Dumping – Action Plan

Finding out about what’s important to Gippslanders when it comes to litter and illegal dumping is a priority in Resource Recovery Gippsland’s development of a Regional Litter and Illegal Dumping Plan.

Ask anyone about litter and illegal dumping and they usually have a story to tell because litter and illegal dumping affect all of us in some way. Gathering this information is a key component in the collection of quantitative and qualitative data for the development of a plan to reduce and prevent litter and dumping in Gippsland.

Throughout May, an online survey was open to the public which resulted in over 300 people contributing their thoughts on litter hotspots, how illegal dumping may have impacted on them, the ease at which littering and illegal dumping can be reported, and any ideas they may have on litter prevention.

In addition, representatives from Baw Baw, Bass Coast, Latrobe City and South Gippsland shire councils and members of the community had the opportunity to share their experiences, viewpoints and stories recently at a discussion session in Wonthaggi. Similarly, a workshop in Bairnsdale was attended by representatives from East Gippsland and Wellington.

Rob Curnow, social psychologist and internationally renowned littering behaviour expert, joined Resource Recovery Gippsland and Karen Cosson, a highly experienced litter, waste and resource recovery strategic planning consultant and Victoria’s first litter champion, in presenting, discussing and verifying community input and preliminary data analysis with the groups.

Both Rob and Karen provided a mix of activities, anecdotes and statistics that enabled frank and informed discussion by participants regarding the top litter and illegal dumping priorities and practical change initiatives for the region. Areas of concern were roadsides, waterways and beach foreshores, with penalties versus behaviour change, and prevention rather than clean-up, topics that generated robust discussion.

Information from the sessions will be compiled with data collected from councils and other land managers, Clean Up Australia, and results from the survey. This pool of data will then be analysed by Keep Victoria Beautiful and used by Cosson Consulting to draft the regional plan on behalf on Resource Recovery Gippsland.

The plan will identify the top five litter and illegal dumping priorities for the region and will include an action plan that will be used to seek external funding to implement.

While attitudes and behaviours have improved over the years, continued action to reduce littering and illegal dumping is needed.

Additional information:

  • In June 2019, the Gippsland, Loddon Mallee, Goulburn Valley and North East Waste and Resource Recovery Groups (WRRGs), collaborated to successfully obtain funding from Sustainability Victoria to develop a Regional Litter and Illegal Dumping Plan for each group.
  • The plan will be the result of a partnership between councils, state government departments and agencies, along with community and environmental groups and will draw on local evidence to identify the top five litter and illegal dumping priorities for the region.

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