Cabinet members have agreed to back a new litter and fly tipping strategy, which aims to involve local communities and take action against those who are ruining the local environment.

The strategy aims to increase awareness, encourage community involvement, take a robust approach to offenders, and improve the district's bin facilities. 

"Litter, fly tipping and dog fouling all have a negative impact on our beautiful area and the public expect us to do something about it," says Councillor Roger Barrow, Cabinet Member for Contract Services at Chichester District Council.

"Currently, we spend more than £1 million a year on clearing litter and fly tipping, but if people didn't drop or dump rubbish, we could spend a proportion of this money on other essential services. We've also seen an increase of littering on our roads and coastline, the number of fly tips reported, and the amount of hazardous waste we have had to remove; so it's clear that we have to act.

"We want to prick the public conscience and develop a strong anti-litter culture in the district so that it becomes completely unacceptable to drop litter of any kind or dump rubbish. This is a concentrated effort and will involve a number of different methods. We want to engage with local communities and empower them to take positive, preventative action, as well as encouraging local businesses to get involved.

"In addition to running education and community projects, a key part of our campaign will be introducing better enforcement. We know that many people want to see tougher action against those who deliberately litter our district so, as well as continuing with enforcement action against fly tippers, we will be teaming up with East Hampshire District Council to take part in a litter enforcement trial. This is something that East Hampshire, Havant, and Arun District Councils have already introduced with great success."

The trial will involve litter enforcement officers, directly employed by East Hampshire District Council, monitoring the city, towns, villages, parks and the seafront and fining those who are seen dropping litter or allowing their dog to foul. It has already had a very positive impact in our neighbouring district areas and it is hoped that it will now send a strong message to the small minority of people who continue to ruin the local environment.

"We want to stress that this is not about money. The fines are not intended to provide income for the council; they will just pay for the service. We will also be using council officers who are trained to deal with this and so it different to the private services that have been used by other councils elsewhere in the country," adds Roger.

"We are responding to feedback from our residents who want us to tackle these issues. Enforcement is a key part of this, along with education and community involvement."

The council also intends to run a project to encourage tradespeople to prevent litter being dropped from trucks and to make sure that they are properly registered as waste carriers. A recent clear up of the A27 (within the district) resulted in 665 bags of litter and 15 small van loads of car parts.  The project will campaign for trucks, lorries and vans to secure their loads properly because much of the material collected is thought to have been dropped from commercial vehicles.

Other projects will encourage local businesses to adopt an area to increase pride in their local surroundings, as well as introducing community pledges and community clean up days.

Remote cameras are also being used in fly tipping hot spots to catch offenders as part of a West Sussex Partnership project to crack down on fly tipping. Chichester District Council has seen a 60% increase in fly tips over the past year, and has dealt with almost 1,000 cases. The council has pledged to continue to prosecute anyone caught fly tipping.

Finally, the council intends to improve its bin facilities and signage. This will include increasing awareness that dog bags can be placed in any litter bin- and the importance of not dropping cigarette butts.

"People need to recognise that if they drop cigarette butts that they are littering. We collected 1,221 cigarette butts in West Street and South Street in Chichester between 6.30am and 8.30am on one day alone. This is not acceptable. We also know how strongly people feel about dog fouling. We want dog owners to know that as long as it is placed in a bag, it can go in any bin," adds Roger.

"By working together we can all make a difference to ensure our district remains beautiful for everyone who lives and visits here," he adds.

Date of Release: 5 September 2017 

Reference: 3742