Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, in partnership with 15 local authorities, is running a social experiment as part of its Which Side of the Fence? Campaign, which will see street cleaning stop in towns across the country.
At 27 locations, from Northumberland to Devon, places that are normally cleaned by the army of street cleaners that fight the tide of litter everyday will be left to fend for themselves.
Visitors to these areas will be faced with the stark reality of our nation’s no longer affordable £1bn problem. One side of a street will be cleaned as normal, the other will left, showing the amount of litter that is dropped.
Kirstie Allsopp – “Every one of us has a responsibility not to drop litter… When you buy a chocolate bar or a can of pop you are buying the packaging as well as the contents. This means you are responsible for disposing of it correctly. This doesn’t mean you can throw it on the street or into a bush so no one can see it!”
Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive Phil Barton said: “We are asking everyone – individuals, businesses and government – one simple question: when it comes to litter, which side of the fence are you on?
“None of us want to have to fight through mounds of litter on our way to work or school, and we are all in a position to make sure we don’t have to.
“The £1bn bill that we are all paying to clean our streets, parks and beaches every year is too high. It is time everyone realised the scale of the task that local authorities are facing in keeping the places we call home clean and tidy – and the part many people play in causing the problem.
“This is why we are undertaking these experiments. If government and businesses do not take litter seriously, with further council budget cuts, this is how our streets, parks and beaches could look in three years’ time.”
Keep Britain Tidy’s ambassador, TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp said: “Every one of us has a responsibility not to drop litter.
“When you buy a chocolate bar or a can of pop you are buying the packaging as well as the contents. This means you are responsible for disposing of it correctly. This doesn’t mean you can throw it on the street or into a bush so no one can see it!”
In its Which Side of the Fence? report, Keep Britain Tidy looked at what the £1bn, currently spent by local authorities and land managers on street cleansing, could pay for and found that the money would fund 38,644 social care workers or the costs of 4,400 libraries or pay for 33,200 NHS nurses.
The partners taking part in the Which Side of the Fence? social experiment are:
- Bournemouth Borough Council
- London Borough of Lambeth
- Diss Town Council
- Northumberland County Council
- Ashfield District Council
- East Devon District Council
- Nottingham City Council
- Wellingborough Norse
- Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council
- Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
- East Herts Council
- Mansfield District Council.
To find out more about Keep Britain Tidy’s Which Side of the Fence? campaign and to sign up visit www.keepbritaintidy.org