Cleaning up illegally dumped material costs Melbourne $10.8 million a year, according to a Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) survey.
Following the survey, MWRRG conducted research into factors that contribute to illegal dumping in the region.
MWRRG Litter and Illegal Dumping Program Coordinator Jess Hand presented the findings at Waste 2019 in Coffs Harbour early this month.
“They want to give their items a second chance at life, people justify putting items on the kerb as a form of giving or a charitable act,” Ms Hand said.
The research found proximity to a transfer station made no difference to knowledge of disposal options, participants over 50 however are more likely to use one.
“There is also a misperception among participants that all hard waste collected by councils goes to landfill,” Ms Hand said.
“We need to make sure residents know how to rehome or recycle items responsibly, using charity stores, online marketplaces or council waste disposal channels.”
In 2016-17 metropolitan councils in Victoria collected more than 100,000 tonnes of hard waste, which MWRRG indicates as material unable to be collected through kerbside collection, such as white goods, mattresses, e-waste, general household goods and furniture.
Of metropolitan Melbourne’s 31 councils, all offer a kerbside hard waste service to residents in addition to kerbside bin collections, however only 19 operate a transfer station.
Ms Hand said the findings will be used to inform the development of an illegal dumping prevention resource kit for metropolitan councils.