As a result of the recent high rainfalls and subsequent flooding Melbourne Water is working with emergency services and other relevant agencies to review the impacts to our waterways and assets. 

For flood or storm emergency assistance, contact the VIC SES on 132 500 and for life threatening emergencies call 000. 

You can access current emergency information by calling the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 or sign up to receive regular updates regarding flooding via the emergency.vic.gov.au website and app.

Litter action

Litter is an important ecological issue impacting Melbourne’s waterways and bays. Discover how you can take action, see what others in the community are doing, or find out where to learn more.

Each year, litter on our streets makes its way through stormwater drains into rivers and creeks, and then to our bays and oceans. Not only is it unsightly – it has devastating impacts on wildlife.

Melbourne Water helps protect waterways by cleaning up litter. In 2020-21, we spent $4.8 million collecting litter and debris from our waterways and drainage system. That’s around 1,695 cubic metres of rubbish – more than enough to fill half an Olympic-sized swimming pool!

Take action against litter

There are many ways to reduce litter, individually or as part of a community group.

Stop litter at the source

Person wearing gloves uses a pair of tongs to pick up rubbish from the ground

Prevent litter from becoming an issue before it reaches our waterways and bays:

  • put litter in a bin
  • participate in a clean-up day
  • consider buying things with less packaging
  • remember to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Start a litter reduction project

Primary school students crouch next to rubbish bins with custom of animals that say "bin it for me!"

If your school or community group has a small litter reduction project, we can help provide funding through our Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways Program.

If you’d like to discuss your project, email [email protected].

Join a community group

There are many local groups you can volunteer for or support as a member:

Case studies: The Litter Action Project

Discover how communities and volunteers concerned about litter in their local waterways, and the impact on wildlife, embarked on a mission to tackle litter at its source. From construction site signage to murals and interactive sculptures, watch the following videos to see how they made a difference through Melbourne Water's Litter Action Project.

Bacchus Marsh
Diamond Creek

Diamond Creek has the highest rate of platypus litter entanglement across our area of operation. When volunteer litter audits discovered a nearby bin was constantly overflowing, we worked with Nillumbik Council to install a solar compacting bin.

Litter Action: Diamond Creek - transcript

Kororoit Creek

This ‘Litter Mural’, developed as a big art project for central Sunshine, draws attention to the fact that litter dropped on the street flows into Kororoit Creek. It was the result of a collaboration with Brimbank City Council, Sunshine Business Association and Friends of Kororoit Creek.

Litter Action: Sunshine litter mural - transcript

Our Home

We collaborated with Nature West and the Werribee River Association on an interactive sculpture to remind people that looking after our home also means looking after the environment.

Litter Action: Our Home sculpture - transcript

Learn more

Litter Trackers project

Litter Trackers Merri Creek
Students toss a GPS-tracked bottle into Merri Creek, Coburg.

RMIT University’s Litter Trackers website contains maps and data from a ground-breaking project that followed 100 GPS-tracked bottles launched into Melbourne’s waterways. The 2019 project was a partnership with RMIT’s AQUEST Research Group.

Educators can also download our lesson plans:

LitterWatch Victoria

LitterWatch Victoria’s website provides a central location to store, interact with and extract litter data, collected from communities, organisations and government.

Last updated:
4 October 2022