21st Apr, 2021

Rugby Borough Council to declare 'war on litter'

A WAR on litter is to be declared by Rugby Borough Council (RBC).

The council is to step up its anti-littering measures to coincide with an expected rise in the use of parks and open spaces as lockdown eases.

It comes as a council crew spent over seven hours clearing more than a tonne of rubbish from under the Black Path footbridge – a litter hotspot which was previously fenced off as part of a development site.

The campaign, should it be approved, will include behaviour change measures, joining campaigns such as the Great British Spring Clean, new ways to report litter, and extra bin capacity placed in hot spots.

Last summer, RBC revealed it was collecting around ten tonnes of rubbish more per day than usual.

In response, it launched the popular ‘don’t be a tosser’ campaign, placing signage in areas with increased littering – a campaign which has subsequently been cited as a best practice example for other local authorities to follow.

If new measures are approved, the council will use behavioural science research to pilot new measures aimed at changing residents’ behaviour towards littering.

The council will also offer renewed support to volunteers, including providing an approved volunteering programme for young people taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

RBC leader Coun Seb Lowe, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “Over the last year we have seen use of our parks and open spaces increase dramatically, and it is pleasing to see these spaces being used and enjoyed by so many residents.

“The best way to address litter is for every resident to take their litter home, and we will focus on preventive measures that will help influence residents to do the right thing.

“There is a good community spirit in Rugby with many people willing to use their own time to keep areas close to them clean and tidy. We have had a number of enquiries from young people wanting to litter pick as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award, and I am pleased that we are able to support them with equipment and by assessing their achievements.

“Where litter does accumulate, however, we want to make sure that it is easy for residents to report so that crews can clear hot spots quickly. And, with extra bins in more popular spaces, there really will be no excuses so we will review our enforcement powers as well.

“Most of our residents recognise that there is no excuse for litter or flytipping. The minority of residents who are responsible need to know that neither we nor their community will stand for it and together we will take action.”

The measures will be considered at a meeting of RBC’s Cabinet, due to take place on Monday (March 29). If approved, their implementation will be overseen by councillors on the litter and fly tipping working group.

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