A new litter campaign will be using social media to drive social awareness about the region’s illegal rubbish dumping problem.
ABC Gardening Australia host, Costa Georgiadis launched the Grampians Central West Waste & Resource Recovery Group’s #bealittersuperhero program via a live Facebook link during the Wimmera Biodiversity Seminar on Thursday, September 7.
The initiative’s acting executive officer La Vergne Lehmann said the #bealittersuperhero was a new program which aimed to make people aware of the damaging effects rubbish dumping had on the environment.
“Litter, along with illegal dumping is a big problem in the region and the Litter Super Heroes program aims to take a positive message, using a combination of face to face communication along with social media,” she said.
“The focus will initially be on the Western Highway and other main roads where litter is an obvious problem along the road and at wayside stops.
“We know social media is a very powerful tool these days so Litter Superheroes now has a Facebook and Instagram presence to provide a platform for spreading the message across the region.”
The initiative has Litter Super Hero Cutouts and social media frames which people can photograph themselves in and share via their social media with the #bealittersuperhero.
Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group also encouraged the community to install the Litterati App on their smart phones or tablets.
People can then record litter problems across the region on an interactive map.
“By doing this the database for litter, what the problem items are and where they tend to be found can be recorded and will help to refine the targeted messages in the region’s litter education program,” Ms Lehmann said.
“It is impossible to ignore the power of social media these days, particularly with younger people and we want to make sure that we can spread the message around the importance of not littering and putting any rubbish in bins.
“we know that nobody wants to live in a rubbish dump and they don’t want to turn our natural environment, whether it be National or State Parks, waterways or roadsides into dumps either.”
It comes after various complaints of illegal rubbish being dumped at Stawell nature reserves.
Clothes, children's toys, couches and other discarded waste was left strewn across a Lake Lonsdale camp site in August.
Volunteers have also been clearing out “trailer-loads” of rubbish from the Stawell Ironbarks, including toilets, couches, mattresses and other household waste.
More litter was dumped illegally at Taylors Gully Park on Monday.
Up to seven bags of rubbish were left on the ground in front of the bin and beside a children’s playground.
Concerned resident Sandra Sculley said something needed to be done to curb the growing issue.
“You’ve got old dirty nappies in there and then you have children nearby who are innocently playing at a park,” she said.
“And what if birds and dogs passing by end up going through all of the mess?
“It is disgusting and something needs to be done to teach these people that littering our town is not the right thing to do.”
Northern Grampians Shire Council said they were fully committed to tackling the issue of illegally dumped waste.
“We encourage anyone who comes across waste in the area which they believe to have been illegally dumped to contact our Local Laws department on (03) 5358 8700,” a council spokesperson said.