Merri Creek Management Committee

Katherine child on litter clean upDuring the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, MCMC's expertise and knowledge was deployed to help in the supervision and training of three Litter Data Officers employed by Moreland Council. The role of these Litter Officers was to examine the state of litter and its sources across the municipality. 

Litter audits were conducted around several different sites including the Merri, Moonee Ponds and Westbreen Creeks, and in a variety of built-up site types. The results provide information that can help design education programs on source reduction and on locations for infrastructure, such as litter traps. 

The project was a short one and COVID-19 restrictions imposed limitations on the data collection time and on working arrangements. Almost all the supervision and training was done remotely. Still, it was a rewarding project and useful methodology was developed for auditing a range of site types. 

Katherine Sampson was one of the Litter Data Officers and a resident of Moreland. She gave the following personal perspective on the project. 

Personally, I have loved being involved in this project. It was a privilege to go out into the community (once permitted, of course), to gather litter data, and make a positive contribution to my community. 

My job highlights were: increasing my understanding of Local Government's role and council workers' role; working outside with my team; building partnerships with MCMC; and being part of a supportive team, during a pretty tough time.

Working in the role prompted me to talk more to my 5 year old daughter about our responsibility around litter and on the importance of source reduction, caring for our creeks, and the practical things we can do. My daughter took ownership of litter clean up days on our daily hour of exercise and has become an advocate for looking after our local [Merri] creek and neighbourhood.

As a community, we know the value and importance of local green space and natural resources such as parks and waterways more than ever after living with severe restrictions on our movements.

I hope that this project's recommendations will contribute to education that builds on the sense of responsibility and care residents and businesses have for Moreland's parks and waterways.

The Victorian Government funded the Litter Data Officers project through its Working for Victoria Scheme, for six months from August 2020 to February 2021. MCMC was contracted by Moreland Council to provide part-supervision and training for the Litter Officers.

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