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Litter can take many forms. It can range from small items like cigarette butts to large quantities of dumped rubbish. It can accumulate to create a visual eyesore on highways, transmit weeds like fruit trees, clog waterways, potentially start bushfires and generate a health hazard as in the case of dumped asbestos.
Council is part of the Grampians Regional Waste Management Group, who developed a Regional Litter Strategy to provide a consistent approach to litter throughout the region.
Council provides street litter bins to enable people to responsibly dispose of litter. These are emptied on a frequent basis by Council’s Waste Collection Contractor. Many of the litter bins incorporate a cigarette butt receptacle.
Irresponsible people who toss their rubbish, rather than finding a bin are a blight on our community, which costs Council and therefore the ratepayer. Sometimes the only solution for these people will be enforcement.
Littering and dumped rubbish offences are followed up by Council’s Local Laws Officers. The cost of being taken to court for dumping rubbish is significant. It is much cheaper to take the load to the local Transfer Station.
Clearing of litter on Federal and State Highways is the responsibility of Vicroads.
Littering from vehicles can be reported directly via the EPA Litter Hotline 1800 352555.
Council has also developed a program to reduce Cigarette Butt littering. The present cost for dropping a lit cigarette butt is $233.64 and $116.82 for an unlit butt.
Council’s weed mapping has included mapping of environmental weeds along roadsides.
Very high numbers of various fruit trees have been recorded and this is likely to be from the throwing out of seed containing fruits along the roads. Remember even food waste is litter. Dispose of your fruit remains responsibly.
Council also provides litter traps at many waterway entry points and street sweeping to minimise gross pollutants entering waterways.
At the end of the day, Council relies largely on the community to do the right thing.