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LitterWatch
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LitterWatch

LitterWatch Victoria is a publicly accessible web portal to manage and view litter monitoring datasets contributed by community group and agencies. It collates publicly contributed and state-wide datasets of litter in Victoria that can be easily visualised and used for reporting, planning, policy making and engagement.

LitterWatch website   LitterWatch Mapping Portal

LitterWatch Victoria website

 

LitterWatch Victoria Mapping Portal

Background

The management of litter is a strategic priority under the Port Phillip Bay Environment Management Plan , with litter clean-up estimated to cost over $94 million annually. Since 2017, the Port Phillip Bay fund has invested over $2.7 million in litter monitoring. The LitterWatch portal was designed and created to assist in identifying the different monitoring programs, and to secure the collated data.

LitterWatch is intended to support the development of a litter baseline, and other activities under the Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan , including plastic pollution policies . The portal has reporting functionality and program analysis, which facilitates access by the public to data on litter hotspots across Port Phillip Bay.

LitterWatch is an initiative of the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), in collaboration with CeRDI.

Outcomes

The development of LitterWatch Victoria involved extensive baseline research examining litter monitoring methods and litter pollution data for the Port Phillip region. A feature of the project has been the development of a standardised litter monitoring database and online spatial information system, which includes the federation of community and agency litter monitoring data.

The development of LitterWatch Victoria also included an honours research project on litter monitoring methods, conducted by Hamish McDonough and completed in 2019.

The litter data categorisation undertaken during the project now underpins standards used across the region and by DELWP for reporting.

Technical Features

The mapping page provides simple analytical tools to compare litter data from various locations and time periods, based on repeat surveys conducted by groups and agencies in various parts of Port Phillip. The user administration system allows coordinators from community litter monitoring groups to manage member training levels and verification of member-contributed data, ensuring that quality assurance and quality control processes are implemented prior to site litter data being shared publicly. This will help ensure that community-generated litter monitoring data will fit-for-purpose. The mapping portal is intended to guide reporting, planning, policy making and engagement in relation to litter pullulation and control.

Approach

LitterWatch Victoria was led by CeRDI’s Dr Birgita Hansen with significant input from members from the CeRDI’s research support and technical teams, particularly Scott Limmer, Andrew Macleod, Sudeera Abeywickrema and Dr Angela Neyland. In 2021 and 2022, updates were made to the LitterWatch system to allow the import of data collected by the LitterStopper App (https://litterstopper.com/ ). This work is being conducted by Richard Archer and Michael Brown in the technical. The technical team, in partnership with DELWP and with input from representatives of key community litter monitoring groups, developed an online spatial ‘litter data portal’ designed to capture litter data in a standardised and reportable format.

In commenting on the development and design of the project Birgita said,

A huge amount of work has gone into developing this system, and ensuring we accommodate different end user needs. Through ongoing liaison with a range of stakeholders, particularly our key community partners Beach Patrol, Bellarine Catchment Network and Port Phillip EcoCentre, we have designed a system that is intended to accommodate different litter data collection techniques while still enabling standardisation across datasets.

Future Directions

LitterWatch is the primary source of information that DELWP is drawing on to develop a litter index for the Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan (EMP) 2017-2027. LitterWatch data is being used to help create a spatially explicit Litter Index that incorporates baselines and thresholds intended to trigger management intervention. 

The long-term goal for this project is to expand it beyond the Port Phillip region and as well expand the litter methods and reporting to other forms of litter pollution, e.g., illegal rubbish dumping.

 

  • Research output icon

    RESEARCH OUTPUT

    An honours research project was conducted by Hamish McDonough in the initial stages of this project. The aim of this research was to test a range of different litter monitoring methods at key litter monitoring locations in Port Phillip. This research was completed in 2019. The findings of this research are being used as part of the Port Phillip Bay EMP litter index development.

  • Project News

    NEWS

    LitterWatch - 22 March 2021

    LitterWater Victoria, an initiative of the Victorian Government's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.... Continue reading...


    LitterWatch Victoria - 3 November 2020

    A successful collaboration between CeRDI and DELWP has culminated in the development and launch of LitterWatch Victoria.... Continue reading...


    LitterWatch Victoria - 28 June 2019

    A project to conduct research into, and develop, a standardised litter monitoring database and online spatial information system for Port Phillip Bay.... Continue reading...

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