Community Engagement – Litter Initiatives
Environmental Health are focusing on community engagement and promoting behavioural change when it comes to tackling litter across the Borough.
The Community Engagement Officer and the Neighbourhood Environmental Manager have planned a number of anti-litter initiatives to address all forms of litter; cigarette litter, chewing gum, fast food litter, illegal dumping, dog fouling and more.
The Community Engagement Officer continues to attend resident and interagency meetings. Attending these meetings allows us to respond to requests and spread the word about the initiatives that are ongoing and how individuals and groups can become involved.
The Community Engagement Officer visits local primary schools in the Borough to deliver interactive sessions focusing on litter, its impact and consequences. If you think your local school would be interested in taking part please contact the Community Engagement Officer to discuss possible dates.
If you require any further information on a particular issue please contact the Community Engagement Officer.
The Adopt-a-Street scheme was launched in November 2013 to tackle the ongoing problem of litter throughout the Borough. The aim of the scheme is to get local residents, schools and businesses more involved in keeping an area they have ‘adopted’ clean and tidy and free from litter. All those taking part help make a difference to the local area and encourage a feeling of community spirit. Equipment is provided and ongoing support is given to those who register for the scheme.
At the launch the then Chief Executive, Dr Theresa Donaldson was ‘delighted that we have the support of the residents who wish to take positive action to help keep their nearby streets and roads litter free, for their own benefit and the enjoyment of a cleaner environment for all’.
The scheme has been a great success to date with almost 67 expressions of interest received, with new areas being adopted each week and almost 2000 bags of rubbish collected. The scheme was also shortlisted in the prestigious LGC Awards under the Environmental category in March 2015.
If you know someone who already cleans up their area please put them in touch with us and we can provide all of the necessary equipment and provide support and collection for the litter they pick in their area.
The issue of dog foul is an ongoing one in the Borough and indeed across the region. The fine that can now be served if detected failing to pick up after a dog under your control is £80, which is in line with the fine for dropping litter. As residents of or visitors to the Borough we urge you to be vigilant to this type of activity and if you spot an offender please report them on the Council’s website Environmental Crime Report.
‘Report it Now’ banners have been produced and placed in a number of outdoor locations across the Borough, if you think an area near you would benefit from one of the banners please contact the Community Engagement Officer.
In June 2015 we launched a new scheme to tackle dog fouling; the Green Dog Walkers. The scheme calls on volunteers to sign up and make a difference together. We want to encourage people to get involved and take the pledge to clean up after their dogs as well as acting as a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to do the same.
Those who sign up to the scheme will receive a doggie welcome pack which contains the Green Dog Walkers® armband, dog bone shaped bag dispenser, doggie bags and clip on hand sanitiser. You take the pledge to say you will wear the armband when walking your dog to remind people to clean up after their pooch as well as carrying extra doggie bags and be happy to share these bags with dog walkers who need them. If you want to make a difference and sign up please contact the Community Engagement Officer today.
The illegal dumping of household and commercial waste is an ongoing issue for Environmental Health. The resources and effort required for detection and clean up purposes is substantial and it is for that reason that we are clamping down hard on those who are continuing to dump their excess waste.
Environmental Health Officers have identified ‘hotspot’ areas right across the Borough and the signage warns potential offenders and hopefully will discourage them from dumping their waste illegally and instead take it to their Recycling Centre.
Recently one of the cameras detected a local resident dumping unwanted tyres. Thanks to CCTV footage Council officials were able to note the car registration, track down the owner and issue a Fixed Penalty Notice. An offender caught fly-tipping can currently face fines of up to a maximum of £50,000 depending on the severity of the case.
If you see anyone dumping on public land please get as much information as possible concerning the individual and their vehicle, date and time and contact the Council with the details. Tel; 028 3831 2400.
We are continuing to target cigarette litter within the Borough in an effort to cut down the number of cigarette butts discarded on our footpaths and open spaces. The majority of fines handed out are as a result of cigarette butts being thrown down, with cigarette butts the main form of litter on our streets and a major issue within the Borough. We hope to reduce the number of butts on our streets with the offer of free re-usable cigarette pouches for smokers. 3000 ‘stub-tidys’ were previously given to local licensees and shops and we produced 5000 additional pocket ashtrays to giveaway, these were distributed to Council facilities and to local restaurants and bars to tackle this issue.
Chewing Gum Litter
We are continuing to target chewing gum users within the Borough in an effort to cut down the amount of gum discarded on our footpaths and open spaces. The clean up of chewing gum utilises a number of resources and the Council hope to reduce these with the offer of free Gum-Raps; pocketsize anti-litter pouches for the convenient disposal of chewing gum while on the move. This initiative targeting younger people within the Borough delivers an effective and engaging way to responsibly dispose of chewing gum and encourage environmental awareness. We have a limited supply of these to give away but please contact us if you feel you or a young persons group you are involved with would like to receive a supply of Gum-Raps.
We were successful in our application to the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG) to run a campaign focusing on chewing gum litter for the second year running. The advertisements have been on lampposts, adshells, bus sides, shelters and featured on ATMs across the Borough and carried the message of binning chewing gum litter or risk the £80 fine. The campaign which first ran in 2014 was the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland and helped reduce chewing gum litter by 56% in the areas surveyed.
In the Borough we take a two pronged approach to Environmental Crime issues. Whilst we are focusing on engagement and education, our primary statutory function is Enforcement. We have a team of Environmental Wardens whose duty it is to enforce our policy on Environmental Crime. Dropping litter or illegally disposing of waste etc are criminal offences. During 2013/14 the Enforcement Team within the boundary of the formally known Craigavon borough issued a total of 707 Fixed Penalty fines for littering and dog fouling.
Reporting offenders is easy, it only takes a few minutes to complete our online reporting form or the dog fouling report telephone number which is 02838 312553.
Community Engagement Officer
Tel: 02838 312534
Please help in any way you can to keep our Borough beautiful and litter free for the enjoyment of all.