Fighting Litter Around the UK: Cardiff Council
Fighting Litter Around the UK: Cardiff Council
Cardiff Council’s anti-litter campaign, ‘Love Where You Live’ aims to clean up the streets around the city, and has called in residents to join in and help make a difference. Here are just some of the ways that the council is cleaning up Cardiff.
It’s getting people involved
The council is both encouraging people to join or set up a local litter pick, and publicly praising the work of those who are already doing their bit to keep the city clean. The council thanks them personally by putting messages on social media, billboards, buses, and bus stops across the city.
Carrying out ‘deep cleans’
The council’s neighbourhood services teams carry out regular deep cleans of different areas in the city. The deep cleans involve fixing street lighting, cleaning road signs, street cleansing, enforcement action, removal of fly tipping, cutting back hedges, and removing dangerous trees.
The city centre was the also the focus of a big six month long operation after feedback from businesses that the area was beginning to look untidy. A team of staff painted kerbside furniture, scraped off any rogue posters or stickers, and removed waste. A council spokesperson said that the operation had made the city centre more attractive to residents and visitors, so it would benefit local businesses.
A zero tolerance approach to littering
The council ran a comprehensive advertising campaign, which was visible around the city. The ads gave the message to litterbugs that they would be fined if they were caught littering by enforcement officers.
Enforcement officers act according to regulations stated in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, and they issue Fixed Penalty Notices for littering. The fine can range from an £80 fixed penalty for littering up to an unlimited fine imposed by a court for fly tipping.
There are a number of enforcement teams operating in Cardiff and there is now another team operating in areas where there’s a big student population.
As well as imposing fines for littering and fly-tipping, the enforcement officers can also take action against people or businesses who store waste illegally in the frontages of properties or that put skips on the highway or on land owned by the council without prior permission.
Increasing awareness about recycling
The council has made raising awareness about recycling a priority, given that the Welsh Government has set very high recycling targets and it will be fined if the targets aren’t met. Cardiff needs to recycle and compost 64% of its waste by 2020, increasing to 70% by 2025. The fines that Cardiff Council could face might be as high as £400,000 for every percent the target is missed by. This money essentially comes from taxpayers, so it makes sense for everyone to do their bit and recycle and compost as much as possible.
Educating students about reducing waste
The council works closely with colleges and universities to give students information and education around its zero tolerance approach to litter. The council hopes to encourage students to take pride in the areas they live in.
Going into schools
Cardiff Council’s Waste Strategy Team has developed a free School Workshop on Recycling and Waste for Key Stage 2 pupils and they can also deliver a full school assembly on the subject. It’s important for future generations to understand about the impact of litter and why it’s important to recycle.
The workshop looks at how goods are made from recycled goods and materials and tests pupils’ knowledge of the subject. The workshop is around 40 minutes long and can be delivered to a class of around 30 pupils. The school assembly looks at what happens to recycling in Cardiff once it’s collected. The assembly is around 20 minutes long.
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