Help combat Clydesdale litter louts

Littering is a year-round problem but during the summer the issue becomes even more of a scourge on our parks, open spaces, streets and shopping areas.

And the message from South Lanarkshire Council on behalf of its residents is clear – respect your surroundings and your neighbours and don’t hesitate to report those who don’t.

Councillor David McLachlan, housing and technical resources chairman, said: “A recent report by Keep Scotland Beautiful found that 250 million items of litter are discarded across Scotland every year.

“Breaking that down, it amounts to 50 pieces of litter per person at a cost of £20 per council taxpayer – or £46 million per year – for council teams to pick it up.

Council hopes communities will help it target the scourge of litter in our towns and villages.

“And in these times when the effects of climate change are all too real, it’s been calculated that those who drop litter are also throwing away up to £1.2 million worth of items which could have been recycled.

“Ongoing research by council, charities and government also tells us that streets and open spaces strewn with litter can contribute to increased crime rates and even mental illness.

“In extreme cases, broken glass, rusty cans and lit cigarettes left lying around can cost people and animals their health or even their lives.

“Littering is a serious form of anti-social behaviour that affects each of us and it is our intention to tackle the issue, and those who create it, head on.”

The council recently undertook a wide-ranging public survey on litter.

It asked communities what their biggest concerns were, what was needed in their streets, and what they, with the council, could do to crack down on those who discard their rubbish.

A trial project, introducing 'solar' bins at James Hamilton Heritage Park in East Kilbride is also underway, offering increased capacity as well as an alert system when full.

Councillor Robert Brown, community and enterprise resources committee chairman, said: “The council is determined to stamp down on this problem.

“We are using the public’s views gathered from the survey to identify extra measures we can take.

“Together with increased enforcement, additional litter bin capacity and the help of the wider community public, we aim to ensure offenders face up to the consequences of their actions – for them and the environment.

“South Lanarkshire is a fantastic and unique mix of urban and rural. As a place to live, work and visit, it offers so much.

“Yet, there are a stubborn few who have no qualms about treating our communities like glorified waste bins. We need to come together as one and say enough is enough.”

The penalty for dropping litter in Scotland is currently £80 in the form of an on-the-spot fine.

Council officers have powers to issue the fines and urge those concerned about areas or issues near them to report any anti-social behaviour issues on 0800 389 1105 or email [email protected]

Scotland’s national litter strategy was published by the Scottish Government in June 2014 and is championed by Zero Waste Scotland. It has clear goals – to prevent litter and fly-tipping and to encourage personal responsibility.