On Tuesday morning, five plastic bottles were purposely thrown in Bendigo Creek.
But these are not litter - they contain GPS trackers and will provide a better understanding of what happens to rubbish once it ends up in the waterway.
The project is a collaboration between the North Central Catchment Management Authority, RMIT University, local schools and the City of Greater Bendigo, and forms part of the Reimagining Bendigo Creek project.
It comes after Landcare volunteers, in a few short hours, collected 440 kilograms of mostly plastic, glass and aluminium drink containers from a small stretch of the creek between Epsom and Huntly in June.
Under the Litter Trackers program, students participating in the NCCMA's River Detectives program will be able to follow the journey of the trackers along the creek.
RMIT project leader Kavitha Chinathamby said the trackers pinged their location every four hours and researchers received a report every 24 hours.
Ms Chinathamby said litter behaved in different ways in different waterways: in some it accumulated around vegetation until a big rain event, in others it tended to stay put until rain, while others washed up onto banks and floodplains.
RMIT works on the project with Melbourne Water, and in the city some trackers have ended up in Port Phillip Bay.
By learning more about how litter moved in waterways, Ms Chinathamby said, people would gain better knowledge of how to manage it.
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Margaret O'Rourke said the Reimagining Bendigo Creek project was a long-term initiative that aimed to see the creek better used and enjoyed by the community.
"The creek's the spine through Bendigo, so it's a very important waterway," Cr O'Rourke said.
Read more: Where next for Bendigo Creek?
Of the litter tracking initiative, Cr O'Rourke said it was important to have young people involved because it was about their future.
Epsom Primary School is one of the schools involved in the River Detectives program.
Teacher Kaiden Antonowicz said the students knew about litter and recycling, but this project would help them gain a more in-depth understanding.
Being young, he said, the students were the ones who would carry on this information into the future and see the changes.
The students will present their findings later this year.
Ms Chinathamby said the litter trackers program aimed to empower and educate the community about litter.
People can get involved and follow the journeys of the trackers by visiting the project website.
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