Enforcement and the bottom line

Yarra Ranges Council, at the northeast fringes of Melbourne, took it upon itself to appoint a Litter Enforcement Officer Edwin Reese in 2010, with significant savings already evident in the Council's clean up costs for litter and illegal dumping.

The council has taken the enforcement approach in a big way, with prosecutions happening every month now, and in 75% of the cases the offender collects their dumped material for correct disposal - a major contributor to reducing operational costs, previously running at over $200,000 pa.

With a just a small grant of $7000 from the Victorian Government for a set of surveillance cameras to tackle illegal dumping in the Council's vast rural area, Yarra Ranges is poised to do even better.

Smile - you're on Dumper Camera

In a nutshell, a small array of still cameras will be placed in individual dumping hotspots, and moved around on a rolling program.

The locations are often in remote areas. By positioning individual cameras correctly, the Council gets all the proof it needs for a successful prosecution - pictures of registration plates and faces. When triggered by the arrival of an illegal dumper, photos are taken in one second increments to record the act of dumping. No escape for the perpetrator.

Pre-emptive education

Yarra Ranges Council provides residents with a well presented and detailed booklet about waste and recycling, to encourage the community to dispose and recycle responsibly. The booklet includes information about the dates for waste and recycling services in specific locations. This information is also available on council's website. Council's media department also reinforces the message by publishing examples of successful prosecutions.

Elements for success

Enforcement - Appointment of a Litter Enforcement Officer. Prosecutions conducted every month.
Infrastructure - Implementation of a roving camera array to identify and gather evidence for prosecution of illegal dumpers.
Education - Personalised brochure delivered to households. Successful prosecutions publicised by the media department.

From litterALLY #28, November 2011