Young people in Melbourne’s west have been given a crash course on the toll taken by illegal tagging.

Participants in the Western Bulldogs’ Whitten Project were unleashed last Wednesday on a 48-seat bus at the Sunshine depot of project partner ComfortDelGro Cabcharge (CDC) Victoria – and told to tag it to their hearts’ content.

But tables were then turned and the graffitists rolled up their sleeves and got to work cleaning up the mess they had made.

CDC community engagement manager Michelle Ho said the exercise gave the young leaders insight into the damage tagging causes on CDC’s fleet of buses.

“CDC Victoria is proud to be a part of the Western Bulldogs’ Whitten Project,” Ms Ho said.

“It provides us with a platform to educate the future leaders of tomorrow about the cause and effects of graffiti tagging on board our buses.

“Twenty-five per cent of our buses get tagged and the total damage bill of graffiti vandalism per year is more than $500,000.”

Ms Ho said the partnership between CDC and The Whitten Project was helping young leaders learn to become good role models and positively influence others.

The seven-month Whitten Project has four more workshops to complete before graduation day at Whitten Oval on October 12.