Litter & illegal dumping

Keep Victoria Beautiful’s objective regarding litter involves safeguarding the character and beauty of the Australian landscape through the prevention of litter, as well as continuously develop and maintain effective public awareness campaigns to encourage Australians to care for the environment and the sustainability of their communities.

We have championed litter prevention for over 50 years and our community programs through the Dame Phyllis Frost Award, Adopt a Roadside Program and the Stationeers Program.

Everyone has seen litter spoiling our streets, parks and beaches. Litter costs Victorians over $80 million per year. Keep Victoria Beautiful is here to inspire people to eliminate litter now and for future generations.

This is about more than simply getting people to pick up litter, or better ways to deal with litter once it is released. We work hard to find the best prevention,  starting with changing behaviours at a local level.

We work with people, businesses, local authorities and government to educate, innovate and inspire, al the while improving the environment on everyone’s doorstep.


Litter Facts

  • 95% of the litter on beaches comes from suburban streets through the stormwater system. Litter, such as cigarette butts, plastic bags and other plastics harms animal and marine life in a variety of ways:
    • through polluting the water they live in
    • when these items are mistaken for food
    • when creatures get caught up in plastics and get injured or even strangled
    • breaking down into microplastics (less than 5mm) which are persistent and difficult to recover
  • Litter can cause blockages in the storm water system and flooding
  • Litter can be dangerous to people particularly when it involves items such as broken glass, needles and syringes
  • Litter may be a fire hazard
  • Litter makes an area look dirty and uncared for and attracts more litter. Littered areas are not pleasant to be in and are less likely to be used by people. In contrast, people are more reluctant to litter clean areas.
  • Litter is a direct financial cost to local and state governments, and consequently to the community
  • Litter is one of the most visible signs of pollution and waste of resources
From VLAA Litter Factsheet 2014

Illegal dumping

The scale, waste type and duration of illegal dumping influence the effects of illegal dumping. It is well established that even something as “harmless” as kerbside dumping can seriously threaten human and ecological health. Volatile organic compounds, such as solvents or gasoline and heavy metals are found at illegal dumpsites. Flow on effects from this pollution can severely impact the quality of natural resources in the area including air, fauna, flora, groundwater resources, soil and nearby surface water reservoirs. The duration of dumping is paramount when assessing human health.

Understanding your problem

KVB can work with land owners to provide:

  • Environmental Surveys
  • Residential Surveys
  • Custom research

The drivers of illegal dumping are highly localised, and susceptible to a range of influences. Understanding your issues when it comes to littering and illegal dumping is essential. This is difficult when there are gaps and conflict in the evidence collected, or the data is of poor quality.

Working with KVB can help fill those gaps and gather reliable insight into your issue, moving forward to develop an effective strategy for interventions and behaviour change.

Improving Public Spaces

Our awards and programs improve public spaces.

Careful design of public spaces can not only improve the standard of living for residents, but also decrease illegal activity and increase residential sense of ownership. This contributes to behaviour change that directly reduces illegal dumping and littering in urban areas.

Community Solutions

Our awards and programs foster community based solutions.

Keep Victoria Beautiful is perfectly positioned to understand, communicate and engage with locals, which is the most effective way to prevent illegal dumping and littering.

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