Recognising the true cost of litter in public spaces

Litter in the streetLitter management and prevention is an expensive operation for most local councils in Australia, requiring significant manpower and infrastructure investment to respond effectively.  However, for every area that is closely managed there are others that are unable to be effectively policed or regulated by local council or private owners.

While the detraction from an area’s local amenity is obvious, less recognised are the social impacts that litter can have on social behaviours in an area.  Studies show that litter in an area can have wide ranging impacts, from reducing property values to increased damage to property and crime rates.  Deploying a responsive and preventative litter management strategy can be critical in resolving these impacts.

Edge Environment has partnered with the Environment Institute of Australia New Zealand (EIANZ), the NSW EPA and Eunomia Consultancy (UK) to deliver an event; The True Cost of Litter: the latest on best practice litter prevention on the 1st March 2017.

  • The NSW EPA will be presenting a new anti-litter campaign to be launched and how this issue will be addressed in the second iteration of Waste Less Recycle More
  • Eunomia will present on the social and environmental impacts of litter and their costs to society along with best practice management from Europe
  • Edge Environment will be presenting on lessons learn from behavioural change work completed in retail centres and communicating recycling initiatives with the public.

Recognising the economic impacts of litter-induced behaviours helps quantify the need for improved management and also brings into perspective the possible impact of a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in recovering littered items. Further, the indirect natural impacts of litter, particularly in the marine environment where it naturally accumulates commonly remains unaccounted for, but should be recognised as a key outcome in litter reduction policy.

Edge’s relationship with Eunomia is bringing access to European best practice in litter management to Australia and provides access to a growing body of international evidence and knowledge around effective management for local authorities. Read more about Eunomia’s capacity in this space here.

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