Litterbugs caught dumping rubbish in Forest Town will be issued with £75 fines when Mansfield District Council launches a major month-long campaign to clean up the area.
The action, which starts on January 25, has been sparked by an increase in complaints about litter being dropped by customers of takeaways and shops in the Sandlands Way retail park area.
Rubbish often ends up being thrown from cars along Fulmar Close, Sandlands Way, Old Mill Lane and New Mill Lane.
As part of the campaign, council neighbourhood wardens will be patrolling from early in the morning until late at night, when the retail park closes, to catch litter droppers and issue them with £75 penalty notices.
Schools and community groups are also being encouraged to support the campaign by organising litter picks in appropriate areas and designing posters and stickers, and by signing up for training as a champions of the area.
Chad caught up with shoppers outside Asda on Old Mill Lane, who all agreed with the campaign.
Kevin Eyre of Mansfield Woodhouse, said; “It is terrible around here and Mansfield Woodhouse is just as bad.
“We see a lot of litter but not a lot of litter pickers.
His wife Jennifer said discarded cigarette ends were a particular problem.
Robert Boulton, 66 of Denton Close, Forest Town, said: “It was clean around here before the retail park arrived.
“People sit in their cars and throw chicken bones, boxes and cups out of the window when there is a bin in front of them. But it’s not just people using fast food outlets.
“I’ve seen black bags dumped on the grass at the back of the pet shop.
“Behind Asda there used to be a play park but older kids wrecked it and it became a rubbish tip.
“The council has been there picking up rubbish recently but people shouldn’t do it in the first place.
“I’ve seen leaflets from the Palace Theatre strewn all over the place.”
Mr Boulton was busy cleaning up dog mess from another pet as he walked his own dog on Sandland Way.
He added: “I’m always cleaning up for other people - I don’t want to get the blame for it.”
Mansfield Woodhouse mum Lyndsey Brown, 38 was outdoing her morning shop with her two year old daughter Eva.
She said: “There is no need for people dropping rubbish - there is a tip up the road. They can go to that. Someone dumped a fridge behind my local swimming baths.
“If they have a car they can go to the tip. My daughter is only two and she knows not to drop litter.”
Andy Parks, 74, of Warsop said: “I am all in favour of people being fined if it stops them littering. It makes you wonder what their homes are like.”
Deputy Mayor Councillor Mick Barton, who has been instrumental in driving the campaign, said: “What we want to achieve with this campaign will be a win-win situation for everyone.
“The area will look better and that will reflect well on those who live there and the businesses based there.
“But we also want to send out a strong message that dropping litter will not be tolerated.
“We will find you and we will fine you if you drop litter, so the answer is simple: bin your rubbish every time.
“Forest Town is a growing area and it looks lovely most of the time but unfortunately we do still get people dropping litter.
“If people do their bit we can all help to create a clean neighbourhood that we can be proud of.”
Mansfield District Council is inviting schools, businesses, residents, conservation and community groups to sign up for this year’s International Clean Up Mansfield Day.
The award-winning annual event, which aims to improve the local environment in Mansfield and other Mansfields across the world, will take place on Friday 10 June this year.
Last year’s event was the biggest and most successful yet with more than 50 participants helping to clean up the town as well as Mansfields in the USA and Canada.