Mansfield: Shock tactics used in litter battle

Litter collected and displayed in Mansfield's market place.
Litter collected and displayed in Mansfield's market place.

Mansfield District Council is joining forces with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy to highlight the real cost of litter.

Litter is a problem that is costing almost £1billion a year to deal with in England and locally more than £1.4million is spent on cleaning the streets every year.

To highlight the cost and to show people just what happens when councils and land managers stop cleaning up after them, areas up and down the country, including Mansfield, will be demonstrating the amount of litter which gathers in just one day.

From 5am until 3pm on Saturday, all rubbish collected from the streets of Mansfield Town Centre by the council’s foot patrol street cleaning team was bagged up and stacked in front of the town hall.

In other areas of the country, some local authorities will be cleaning one side of a street or park and leaving the other to fend for itself.

The initiative is supported by Keep Britain Tidy and the charity’s chief executive Phil Barton said: “The £1billion bill that we are all paying to clean the litter off our streets, parks and beaches is too high.

“It is time everyone realised the scale of the task facing local authorities in keeping the places we call home clean and tidy.

“The question we all need to ask ourselves is when it comes to litter, which side of the fence are you on?

“The answer to solving the litter problem that blights our country is in our own hands. We need to take responsibility for our own behaviour and do one simple thing – put our rubbish in a bin.

“We are delighted that Mansfield District Council joined with us in this activity. Local authorities are working tirelessly to deal with the problem of litter, but they cannot solve the problem alone. They need support from individuals, communities and businesses.”

Coun Philip Shields, portfolio holder for the environment at the council, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this national Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

“This was a great opportunity for us to demonstrate just how much litter we have to pick up after people, especially following a busy weekend in the town.

I hope that the shock of seeing bin bags full of rubbish piled high in our market place will deter people from dropping litter on our streets and instead place it in a bin.”

To find out more about Keep Britain Tidy’s Which Side of the Fence…? campaign and to sign up visit www.keepbritaintidy.org