Creating a Progam
The information in this section can either be browsed on this website, or downloaded as a PDF, below.
Best practice model
VLAA developed its best practice programming model in 2007 to set a consistent standard for planning a litter reduction program. The three key elements of education, infrastructure and enforcement are central to success and underpin the other components in the eight-step process.
Understand the problem
You need to be fully versed in existing knowledge about behaviours, impacts and proven tactics for litter prevention, as well as understanding the characteristics of the location and behaviours you are targeting. You also need to establish on-the-ground base line information, i.e. carry out litter counts and surveys, and then periodically repeat the exercise.
Explaining the problem
Education is our most powerful tool for achieving long-term change in the community. It can change peoples' motivations and build their capacity to do the right thing. The aim is to imbed a way of thinking - "I know how to, I want to, and I know what the benefi ts are".
Reinforcing the message
Enforcement is not just about catching and prosecuting people. Public knowledge that littering laws are being enforced and will result in fines and po ssibly public shame is what makes this component work. But of course, enforcement must also actually happen, not simply be promoted.
The tools of change
Making it easy for people to 'do the right thing' by establishing physical infrastructure is another key to long-term behaviour change and reducing litter. Infrastructure can include appropriate bins, signage and as part of the enforcement equation, surveillance cameras and 'under investigation' barrier tape.
Persuading people to change their behaviour
Rewards, privileges and other incentives are a powerful way to encourage people to dispose of their waste appropriately and responsibly.
Support and collaboration
Working in a coordinated manner within your council or organisation, engaging with the local community, and gaining the cooperation and support of key sectors such as business and traders, goes hand in hand with litter prevention. This starts at the beginning when planning a program, and will be the key ingredient for sustainable success.
Every step of the way
A strong communications plan publicising each phase of your program helps build support in the community, and is another avenue for educational messages. Communication within your teams, with partners and your own senior management is also important to maintain this essential 'back room' support throughout.
What have we achieved?
Monitoring the program during and after implementation tells you how well the litter reduction program is going, based on the base lines established at the beginning, and the targets you set yourself. This forms the basis for 'doing it again', but with the hindsight of considerable experience.