AN ANTI-LITTERING squad is set to hit the streets of Horsham to reduce roadside dumping and littering.
Horsham Rural City Council and Grampians Regional Waste Management Group will form the Western Highway Environmental Enforcement and Litter Initiative Squad for a three-month pilot program.
The Wheeli Squad will report litter bugs to council’s local laws officer.
Littering fines range from $288.72 for a small piece of rubbish to $577.44 for a lit cigarette.
People who illegally dump rubbish face fines of up to $610,700 or seven years in prison.
Waste management group regional education officer La Vergne Lehmann said it cost Victorians $78 million a year to clean up littering.
She said the squad would target littering at wayside stops along the Western Highway.
“This new initiative has come out of illegal dumpings that we had in the past few months,” she said.
“One of the issues around littering is that people don’t understand they face fines for littering and there is an enforcement process councils can follow through on.
“This is partly an enforcement program but it will also make people more aware that this is an issue and it is not acceptable.
“Often at wayside stops, there is rubbish sitting within a couple of metres of a bin.”
Mrs Lehmann said the pilot program could be extended along the Western Highway. “During the pilot program, we will gather data on whether this approach works,” she said.
“Everyone knows that littering is not the right thing to do. If people don’t think they are going to get caught and be fined hundreds of dollars, then they will continue to do it.”
Mrs Lehmann said people could report drivers who throw rubbish from cars to council.
She said people would need to report the time and circumstance, along with the car’s make, model and registration number.