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2020-21 Annual Illegal Waste Survey

The only comprehensive research into how illegal waste impacts Victorian councils and communities. Funded and completed by the Waste Enforcement Association Australia.

2020-21 Illegal Waste Snapshot

Screenshot 2024-03-19 at

Executive Summary

Littering and illegal dumping harms our environment and our health, creating a significant challenge for land managers and litter authorities across Victoria. Some may find the results of the 2020/21 annual illegal waste

survey disheartening.

Illegal waste continues to impact land managers across Victoria, with the cost of illegal waste to Victorian councils increasing by 66% to over $148,000,000. More worryingly is the cost per incident increase of 95% to $529 per incident, with responses from Local Government indicating a significant increase in commercial operators and rogue waste collection companies depositing waste unlawfully.

There is, however, good news.

Responses to the 2020/21 Annual Illegal Waste Survey indicate that the training, roleplays and scenario-based workshops provided by Waste Enforcement Association Australia (WEAA) have reduced the biggest barriers to enforcement identified in the previous year: a lack of training, investigation knowledge and concerns for personal safety.

The WEAA has a vision to see skilled and respected authorised officers — who are taking unified action to prevent illegal waste — across the country. To see the activities implemented in response to the 2019/20 Annual Illegal Waste Survey bring benefit to authorised officers and assist them with their investigation and enforcement activities is invigorating.

The 2020/21 Annual Illegal Waste Survey will once again provide the fundamental evidence used to design training, programs and resources that are adaptive to the changing issues of illegal waste. The association has already implemented intelligence sharing tools and special interest groups in response to the emerging tyre dumping trend identified in this year’s survey, with more initiatives on green waste, contaminated soil and commercial operators under development.

One of our proudest outcomes from the Annual Illegal Waste Survey was identifying the need to deliver free member training days to ensure all authorised officers have access to standardised training endorsed by the Environment Protection Authority in Victoria. The free member training day delivered training to more than 120 authorised officers from organisations around Victoria and will become an annual event which delivers training to assist officers respond to emerging trends identified in this report every year.

Finally, we extend our gratitude to the Local Governments and authorised officers who contributed to the Annual Illegal Waste Survey.

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