The Litter Working Group is targeting litter from a catchment wide perspective
The Chain of Ponds Collaboration identified litter and rubbish dumping as a catchment-wide issue for Moonee Ponds Creek and litter education and urban renewal as opportunities to transform the Creek (Chain of Ponds Prospectus).
A Litter Working Group was formed in June 2019 to identify actions the group could implement and/or advocate for - to address the litter issue. It was felt that an agreed and shared action plan would help the group to prioritise and coordinate energies for greatest impact, lead to a reduction in the incidence and impact of litter and the cost of litter removal. A clear framework and plan that identifies the high priorities for investment was developed in conjunction with Alluvium Consulting and released in December 2020.
In October 2022 Neil Sutton was appointed as the Litter Action Lead to form a litter action plan with the working group.
A lot has happened in the last three months! We’re charging ahead with our litter reduction efforts and continuing to deliver on-ground actions against the Litter Action Plan. Here’s an update about what we’ve been up to.
Phase 1: Establishing key accumulation sites & engaging community in clean ups and audits
We have successfully set up two new sites for community clean ups and litter audits:
1. Otway Crescent Drain (our first site in the Hume region!) tributary of the Yuroke Creek (which is flows into the Jacana Wetlands) and is linked to Roxburgh Park Shopping Centre and transport via a long stormwater drain.
2. Westbreen Creek (a tributary of the MP creek) which surfaces from a drain in the Northern Golf Course (Glenroy) where lots of litter accumulates. This site links to Glenroy Shopping Precinct. Melbourne Water are sorting the litter and providing important litter data to Neil who is uploading to Litterwatch.
The great news here is that we’ve been able to collect litter data at both locations - linked to key litter source hotspots. This allows us to connect the community to these accumulation points, and to the important step; to change behaviour at source hotspots.
Unfortunately, we found lots of litter at these sites (>60kgs) built up in the creeks in just four weeks. This included soft plastics, plastic bottles and coffee cups, polystyrene, aluminium cans, paper fast food packaging, shopping trolleys and even syringes! We are updating all the data to Litter Watch Victoria and we’ll continue to monitor sites on a regular basis to provide information to monitor the impact of education programs at source hotspots.
Other sites we have cleaned and audited in the last few months (with data entered to Litter Watch Victoria) have included:
- MP Creek, Cross Keys Reserve (Essendon) - linked to Coburg North and Sydney rd., shopping precincts (2nd July)
- Five Mile Creek (Essendon) - linked to the Keilor Road Shopping Precinct (6th Aug)
- MP Creek (Kensington) – south of Racecourse rd., linked to local and catchment wide litter generation (3rd Sep)
We are now exploring new clean-up and audit sites in the Hume area, which are linked to Broadmeadows Central Shopping Centre. Watch this space to find out about the site we choose!
Our Partnership with Swinburn University
Our fantastic partnership with Swinburn University has started! Over a total of 150 students are working with us on quantitative litter audits across all our major source hotspot monitoring sites across the catchment (8 in total)as part of their Environmental Science Degrees. (These sites were previously audited through the RMIT University and Melbourne Water as part of a litter audit pilot project).
The data from these audits will be used to monitor the progress of upstream education projects at litter hotspots (as part of phase 2). Last week we had approximately 12 students on the creek learning how to undertake the auditing method, it was great to see the passion!
Join the Moonee Ponds Creek Litter Clean-Up Team on Facebook here if you are interested to get involved in cleans and be part of the litter solution.
Phase 2: Education programs, improvement to street litter maintenance and enforcement at hotspot sources
Westbreen Creek Litter education pilot in Pascoe Vale
We’re currently piloting a litter reduction education program in Pascoe Vale where West St, meets Pascoe St, there is a serious litter problem in this area and as such litter flows down from the street into the east branch of Westbreen Creek in KW Joyce Reserve (where we do our community clean-up audit events). The idea of this program is that by educating people on how stormwater is untreated, how litter damages our aquatic wildlife, and how the community can be the solution - we will be able to influence behaviour within the catchment and reduce the litter at the source. Westbreen Primary school have shown they are passionate about supporting this initiative and may even incorporate the program into some of their art classes next year!
This program includes working with Westbreen Primary School, Pascoe Vale Girls Secondary School and local businesses and community groups in the area . Decals will be installed next week with full support from local businesses, council and schools, everyone is working together here to try to motivate change.
As part of this pilot program, here are some ‘hot of the press!’ litter campaign decals that you’ll start to see in this neighbourhood!
We’re working with Merri-bek Council to strategically place education messaging across the streets to encourage people to deposit their litter responsible and with businesses to try to encourage the use of re-usable containers. We will take the learnings from this pilot and apply them knowledge to other source hotspots – the next being Keilor Road shopping precinct linked to Five Mile Creek.
Neil and the Chain of Ponds litter working group are always looking for more volunteers to help. If you’re interested in joining in, email him direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
Moonee Ponds Creek Litter Working Group Action Plan
An action plan as defined by the Chain of Ponds Litter Working group focusing on (1) building engagement, understanding and awareness of/around the litter problem, (2) educating people within hotspot areas to change behaviour, (3) change policy related to product production/consumption.
Hoffmans Road Main Drain - Litter Management Investigation
Includes Draft Litter Assessment Tool - Melbourne Water / Alluvium Consulting