Litter campaign paying dividends
Published: Friday 29th June 12
The council’s long running campaign to discourage people from dropping litter outside rail and tube stations appears to be paying dividends.
The town hall's anti-litter squad has been carrying out regular events to educate and persuade commuters not to drop litter on pavements outside stations. These initiatives have been followed close behind by focused enforcement measures to penalise people who have ignored that message.
The latest enforcement exercise took place last week outside Clapham Junction station, in partnership with The Met Police's safer transport team, and saw nine people issued with on the spot litter fines - mostly for dropping cigarette butts on the pavement.
Similar exercises at this station in the past have seen double or even treble the number of people fined for dropping litter.
The council's environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: "Picking up cigarette related litter costs local council tax payers tens of thousands of pounds each year, which is why we are working hard to educate and persuade people to dispose of these items properly.
"The work we have done certainly appears to be paying off. We are now seeing fewer and fewer people discarding cigarettes and other bits of litter outside station entrances and these areas are now generally much cleaner as a result.
"Smokers are nowadays making much better use of the dustbins we have in place outside railway stations that have special metal plates on the top to stub cigarettes out on.
"There are plenty of these across the borough, especially in busy places like town centres and outside stations, so there is no excuse to drop fag ends on the ground.
"Our simple message remains the same. You can easily avoid being given a litter fine - and avoid harming the environment - by putting your rubbish in a litter bin."
The quality of the council's work in educating the public to not drop litter - and its work in penalising those that do - won a Gold award in 2010 from the London-wide Capital Clean-up campaign.
And the council's work in picking up litter and sweeping the borough streets has seen the number of litter and flytip complaints from members of the public fall to their lowest level for more than a decade.