Speed cameras are designed to save lives but new cameras at donation bins hope to save charities millions.
Salvos stores report that donors are dumping wet cement, dead animals, dirty nappies, household rubbish, and mattresses and sofas littered with holes in the name of charity.
State Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith launched a pilot program on Wednesday at Kilsyth to study whether cameras, fences and signs were effective in stopping the dumping of unusable goods.
Mr Smith said Victorian charities spent $1.8 million a year in waste landfill levies when they took tonnes of unusable goods to the tip.
But Salvos Stores sustainability and waste manager Donald Munro said the real cost was much higher. Salvos Stores will spend $2 million this year alone when staff and trucks are factored into the cost.
Mr Munro said dumping had spiked over the past three years as the landfill levy rose from $9 a tonne to $48 this year.
The Salvos have introduced various measures at stores as part of the study.
Mr Munro said Sebastopol, in Ballarat, Deer Park, Hampton, Doncaster East, Kilsyth, Niddrie and North Geelong were regularly among the worst affected by illegal dumping.
"Some of our stores become mini waste transfer stations," Mr Munro said.
He said the "silly season" of excessive illegal dumping usually ended about three weeks after Easter and began on the Melbourne Cup weekend.
Like speed camera locations around Victoria, the state government has supplied a list of the 38 Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul stores involved in the program, but a control group of 11 stores without the measures will also be studied. The program's first phase will cost $500,000 and will run for three months.
Mr Smith said the insights gained from the program would be used in the next phase of the campaign against illegal dumping.
Mr Munro said the Salvos store in Doncaster East was working with the City of Manningham to prosecute illegal dumpers.
The government has doubled fines for littering, roadside litter prevention grants and funding for local councils to employ litter prevention officers.
Illegal dumping can be reported to the Environment Protection Authority's pollution hotline on 1300 EPA VIC.
¦ Salvos stores involved in the program are Croydon, Narre Warren, Niddrie, Forest Hill, Box Hill, Dandenong, Hampton Park, Nunawading, Deer Park, Doncaster, Kilsyth, Sebastopol, Footscray, Kangaroo Flat, Ringwood, Chelsea Heights, Cranbourne, Moonee Ponds and Wendouree.
¦ Vinnies stores in the program are Alfredton, Mitcham, Ringwood, Sunshine, Boronia, Mont Albert, St Albans, Bendigo, Carrum Downs, Cranbourne, Shepparton, Bayswater, Croydon, Edithvale, Ascot Vale, Dandenong, Kangaroo Flat, Mooroopna and Seaford.