Monday 10 April 2017

Litter Strategy: open for consultation

The new national litter strategy has been unveiled for consultation and it's looking good, so far as it goes. It includes:

* No Council tip charges on dumping of household DIY stuff like offcuts and paint-tins... "Ministers will stop councils charging householders for disposing of DIY household waste at the tip, as it legally should be free to dispose of such waste at municipal waste sites and they warn the charges can contribute to fly-tipping." (Good).

* "Owners of vehicles could be fined if rubbish is thrown from their car by any driver or passenger". (But it has to be "proved", presumably by CCTV or similar)

* "Fixed penalty fines of up to £150 for dropping litter". (Good. But it should be about far more than just security guards lurking in grotty 1970s shopping centres and pouncing on unsuspecting cigarette butt-flickers, in order to rack up income for the Council).

* "Offenders put on community service, including fly-tippers, to help clean up the streets". (Good, as long as it's not just the fairweather 'stroll in the park' I've often seen. Let's see them working up a sweat in the rain).

* "New guidance for councils will be issued to update 'binfrastructure' with new designs, and better distribution of public litter bins". (Likely to be useful).

* Target the 25 worst litter hotspots on the sides of the road network. (Nice for a few car drivers, but it'll probably only scratch the surface. 'Automatic litter-fining cameras' on motorways might be good, though, if such things could be reliably developed).

* Educate children to "lead the fight against litter". ("Lead the fight" sounds to me like like they intend a rather nanny-ish crusade — which may be the wrong approach, leading to a counter-reaction in some truculent kids as they turn 13-14).

* "Boost participation in national clean-up days". (Good. Perhaps have an after-Bonfire Night clean, in those still crisp early November weeks when the wind is low, as well as the existing Spring cleanup?).

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