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Litter and Littering

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      16.02.2009 21:43
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      what must oversea visitors think when they see the litter in our country

      Dropping litter this has to be one of the things that annoys me the most about the general public when out and about
      We have some really lovely areas in our country (especially when the sun shines ha ha ) but when you visit any of them the area always seems spoiled by various forms of litter
      Whilst there dosent always seem to be enough litter bins around in some places ,can it really be that much of a hardship to carry your litter with you till you come across a bin surley not!
      Bad enough is the abundance of paper and plastic rubbish but what really infuriates me is the mindless people who smash glass bottles and then leave sharp jagged pieces all over the path after there so called fun night out
      Dont these people realise what horrific injuries their thoughtlessness can cause to young children and dogs using these areas unaware until sometimes its caused a injury
      Whilst its great smokers are made to smoke out doors dont they realise the pavement is not a extra large ashtray
      There are supposed to be fines for litterers but obviously its not enforced strongly or often enough to form a deterrent
      Why cant people have a tiny bit of consideration and take thier litter to the nearest bin or take it home or am i asking to much ,prehaps i am, I was brought up not to drop litter its no hardship after all

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        12.01.2009 15:56
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        We really are a disgusting race

        As a child littering never used to really bother me, whilst I was always taught to hold on to rubbish and put it in the first available bin, I would even wince if someone dropped their rubbish and carried on walking.

        Now I have aged my attitude has changed quite significantly and I hate litter and littering. As a race, human beings can be disgusting, lazy and selfish and littering seems rife.

        Whilst I can't condone any form of littering there are certain times when it really annoys me, as follows, that I thought I would share with you.

        i) Dropping litter even when there are loads of bins around

        A recent example of this was at the last round of the British Superbikes at Brands Hatch back in October. The circuit owners do everything they can to ensure that the circuit is clean, tidy and well maintained since it not only adds to a nice atmosphere it keeps the race fans coming back year after year.

        There are numerous bins around the circuit, probably too many to make sure that all the rubbish can be left in one place out of the way but the so called race fans still refuse to use them. In the stands there are a row of bins at the front but most spectators can not be bothered to get off their fat a***s and put the rubbish in the bin preferring to put in under their seat. I appreciate that it can get tiresome keep getting up during the day (as with all such events you tend to eat most of the day and create a lot of rubbish) but why not do as I do and put it in a carrier bag and then dump it all in one go? It's not that hard!

        Another thing that annoys me in situations like the above, is those people who drop their litter and kick it under your seat and disown it totally. I will not tolerate this and always make a habit of picking it up and politely giving it back to them. Sometimes they look really embarrassed, get up and put it in the bin although the majority often snatch it back with a grunt.

        ii) Throwing litter out of car windows

        What is wrong with car owners? OK so they don't want to mess up their pride and joy but they think it is OK to mess up the countryside? These double standards really annoy me. How difficult is it to put it in a bag and take it home? In my opinion they shouldn't be eating or drinking in their car anyway since it takes their attention off the road, which could cause an accident.

        I appreciate that there people who drive for a living and they have to 'snack' in their vehicle but this is no excuse to litter. A friend of mine who was a sales rep and spent 90% of his time on the road used to have a carrier bag hanging round the gear lever. This was emptied or changed on a daily basis.

        I find that a lot of the rubbish thrown out of cars seems to be McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and other fast food packaging. It is actually possible to eat in these places so why do people insist of driving through and then sitting in the car park to eat only to drive off and chuck their rubbish away? The stench of the food is already in the car and leaving the rubbish in the vehicle until you get home is not going to make any difference whatsoever.

        I have even seen a car in McDonalds car park whereby the window was wound down and the rubbish was chucked out of the window and the car drove off. I guess what goes around comes around and McDonalds was now the victim of littering as well as the cause of it. I did find it ironic and mildly amusing but I can't condone this behaviour.

        iii) Fly tipping

        I appreciate that getting rid of old white goods can be a struggle, and whilst many retailers will take away an old item whilst delivering the replacement this is not always the case.

        Many dumps around my way refuse to take certain white goods, although there is one that will take anything (including domestic asbestos) some 40 miles away. Because of the difficulties in getting rid of white goods many people decide to fly tip them down quiet lanes and roads. This is totally unacceptable and I think the penalties for fly tipping need to be increased and reinforced.

        The Norfolk countryside is beautiful yet it is being ruined by fly tipping and the problem appears to be getting worse and worse.

        I think that retailers should be forced to pick up old white goods when replacements are delivered and if the consumer has to foot the bill then so be it, after all disposal costs should be budgeted in to the cost of buying these goods. Of course the cost of taking old items away will need to be regulated so that the retailers cannot use this to increase prices too much but as long as it is in line with the council cost of taking away large items I think it will be OK.

        iv) Illegal raves

        There are numerous illegal raves organised in fields, disused barns and other 'quiet' places every year and I never really understood what the problem was until I experienced it first hand.

        My uncle has a small landholding (about 20 acres) at the bottom of his garden and this was the venue for one of these raves whilst he was away on holiday.

        On his return he was confronted with a bombsite. I had heard farmers whinging about the damage caused by these raves although I often wondered what kind of damage could be done to a piece of land, well I now know.

        The amount, and type of rubbish left behind was staggering and this was supposedly a 'small' gathering that got disbanded quickly by the local police, even though there were broken bottles, car tyres (why bring these to a rave?), cans, paper, human waste, loo roll, gas bottles, disposable BBQ remains, charcoal - you name it and it was left.

        The clean up operation took three days, four large skips and the cost of a meal for 6 good friends (who assisted in cleaning up). The ground is full of broken remains, which is not such an issue because my uncle does not grow anything, but I can see how farmers are affected.

        v) Illegal traveller sites

        I am a firm believer in live and let live but I do not agree with travellers turning up and setting up make shift camps in car parks, parks etc for a few days or weeks.

        The travellers decide when they want to move on, since the police appear powerless to do it (although that is another argument altogether), and leave behind an awful mess, disrupting the life of the local residents and wasting their resources in the process since it is the local council that will foot the bill at the expense of the tax payers.

        Littering is something that should not be tolerated. Whilst unacceptable it does not appear as socially unacceptable as other things, such as being drunk in public. There is no excuse for it yet almost every day I see someone dropping a sweet wrapper or a tissue or throwing down a cigarette butt without a second thought. If children see their parents or any other person on the street doing this then they too will think it is OK.

        With the change in attitude to rubbish, with regards to recycling and using re-usable bags etc (although this has been forced on to people) we need to extend this to cover littering. By increasing the penalties and actually enforcing them, yep I have seen a policeman ask an adult to pick up a piece of dropped rubbish in the street - where was the on the spot fine?, this may make people think twice.

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          18.07.2008 22:32
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          Keep Britain Tidy!

          The great Bill Bryson once wrote in his excellent book, 'Notes from a Small Country', that when he first arrived in Liverpool as a twenty year old it was like there was 'some sort of litter festival going on', the city was that grubby. It's a lovely description that tells us that not only is Bryson a funny writer on observing the Brits but littering has been around since the first ever parchment was tossed to the ground, which means someone needs to be paid to pick it up, and we, the preservers of our environment, need to also take responsibility.

          The government department that runs the anti-litter campaigns could be prosecuted for allowing fag butts and rubbish to pile up outside of their offices. The department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been threatened with on-the-spot penalty notices unless it keeps its doorways clear of smoking related crap. They spend all day dreaming up ways to fine people and businesses for making a mess or not recycling correctly, introducing the £80 per person fine for anyone caught littering and the maximum £2500 hit for industrial dumping, rather ironically the two charges they now face from Westminster Council. Now if they don't give a toss about making a mess then what message does it send? The message it does send, of course, is no one is going to be fined in the street in London for dropping trash.

          In Northampton, my hometown, the council introduced those Middlesboro style loud speakers that warn people not to drop littler in the town centre, amongst other misdemeanors and crimes. The Big brother style presence was supposed to make people think twice about dropping trash under the CCTV cameras, Northampton having the most extensive coverage in Europe for some reason. The announcements started to happen, at first pre recorded ones every half-hour telling people the law but not identifying particular offenders... 'Please pick up your litter and place it in the bin nearest to you as it's an offence to litter etc...' Then they employed a bloke to start identifying people who were littering...'would the middle-aged guy in the red sweater please pick up his cigarette end...' It's a good idea in principal but this is Northampton and people just totally blanked the embarrassing calls. No one was called to enforce the law and so the system was scrapped this year. It later transpired that people had complained that the voice from above was too ambiguous...all the middle-aged men wearing red sweaters feeling like their human rights had been breeched etc. Why was that not obvious it was never going to work guys! Yet another waste of money in the pursuit of petty law enforcement.

          Another move here was to introduce on the spot littler fines, the task awarded to these waste of time council wardens. After six months of these awarded powers just 48 fines were handed out of which 27 receivers of gave false addresses and only one person paid. It was a similar statistic by this type of fine handed out by these Police Community Support Officers, the 19 officers managing just 23 fines paid in the year. In fact the 19 PSO`s managed only ONE arrest between them in the six months for ANY criminal offence, such is the respect held for these innocuous and powerless muppets. Some say these on the spot fines were invented for these clowns to actually have something to do! Dressing someone like a copper doesn't mean they are coppers.

          In Peterborough the council went one step further to collect litter revenue by putting the litter wardens on piece rates. This means they get half of every fine handed out and so an incentive to catch people. The problem is they had to catch quite a few people to make a decent salary and that quickly built resentment against them. The council decided to help out by actually removing some bin's in the town centre to generate more business. If you drop little in Peterborough you are in trouble.

          One of the main gripes there was fines for dropping fag ends, the smoking ban forcing people on to the pavement for a sneaky fag, and so more targets. The pedestrians complained that the bins provided to put rubbish in didn't have an adequate stub out tray on top and so they felt that throwing smoldering cigarettes into combustible places was not a good idea, so decking the butt and stubbing it out that way. A sensible approach you would have thought.
          It is very annoying when people deck rubbish in the town centre with so many bins around and even more annoying when people toss trash out of moving vehicles, as if that rubbish is somehow someone else's property now. One should never approach people to pick up their littler as a punch will surely come your way. Nothing makes people lash out more than when they are humiliated.

          Industrial dumping is definitely on the increase here, purely because business rates no longer include industrial tip fees. Builders and the like have had to pay up to £70 to tip rubbish in council tips in Northamptonshire and so naturally there was an explosion of fly-tipping. Why they introduced these fees is confusing as it was clearly going to result in lay-bye dumping that would cost even more to clear up.

          We also suffer two week domestic rubbish collections, which I agree with in principal as it encourages you to recycle and also keeps the rats fed. But we have also so seen these silly petulant fines for people leaving the lids up or putting tins in the wrong colored trays. This obviously alienates householders to partaking in recycling and defeats the object. I want to know why the bin lorry guys aren't fined for leaving those trays and wheelie bins all over the place when they are emptied, Britain's high streets like slalom courses on collection day. Most of the neatly sorted paper is soon blowing down the road when they have finished with it.

          The councils really just wants to introduce a bin tax if the truth be told as recycling is very expensive, only 31% of normal household rubbish actually recyclable. Local councils lose money with their costly recycling operations and some of the stuff you put in the colored trays aren't recycled and shipped off to china for landfill. I'm not saying recycling is slight-of-hand but there certainly isn't much money in it and we know it doesn't stop the rain falling in England by helping to stem global warming. In fact what British people would want to not make it warmer here?

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            11.04.2008 01:09
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            What can be done?

            We are now living in a throw away generation, litter seems to be everywhere on our streets; in the countryside, on our roads and even in our places of work. Nobody likes it and yet so few of us do anything about it.

            My review doesn't focus on individuals that litter (which is majorly annoying) but rather on environmental and economic loss.


            Most counties have in place recycling schemes which do help 'reduce' waste i.e. the amount we dump into the ground as landfill, however the majority of waste that is collected by the council as 'recycling' is not recycled because the council recycling plants cant deal with it and so it ends up as landfill anyway.

            Also in terms of waste, recycling is not always the best method as some materials actually use more energy being recycled than they do being made as a new product.

            I am not saying that recycling is a bad thing, of course it is an excellent idea, however the method used must balance other factors such as how much CO2 is being pumped into the atmosphere etc.


            Its about time manufacturers actually did something about how much 'waste' we have from packaging. How many times have you bought cereal in a box and opened it just to find the box is filled with a plastic bag which doesn't even fill the box! It is a waste, not only of materials but also transportation costs and again as such factors greatly into economic costs in fuel, energy consumption etc. Personally I wouldn't mind if my cereal came in a sealed bag and not even in a box. (sweets would also be a good example of wasted packaging).

            In Japan companies have developed unique ways to tackle waste (due to their small land space), sweet companies for example; have developed up with edible wrappers for boiled sweets. how many sweet papers plus the original bag are thrown out for say a trip to the cinema complete with a bag of starburst? If more companies came up with new packaging ideas just think of how much waste could be eliminated! Some have already started by bringing out concentrated fabric conditioner etc, small changes make a huge difference.

            Also being in the society that we are; we all like convience of supermarkets and progress but we have created a problem of massive amounts of milk cartons being thrown away each day by not having the milk man deliver milk in glass bottles, which were recycled and delivered to the home each morning. It seems almost mad that we have moved away from systems that worked to ones that create more waste, pop bottle would be another example!

            The amount of landfill that we produce each year must be reduced, not only are we wasting valuable resources and finite materials but we also are discarding energy each time we throw away a bin of rubbish. In terms of energy for every 2 1/2 bags of rubbish we throw away it equated 1 bag of coal. Some councils are therefore considering opening brand new incinerators which also heat hot water to say either heat a hospital building/school etc or to produce steam to power an electric generator. This will create waste gases some of which could be damaging i.e. CO2, SO2, NOx etc but does obviously have benefits in that the 'fuel' isn't being mined or producing transportation costs. It also reduces hygiene problems caused by landfill by not creating an environment that doesn't cause dangerous leaching or a breeding ground for rats or those of the flying variety (also known as seagulls!).

            Another possible solution of getting something from a bad scenario would be to 'tap' the methane gas which is produced by landfill decay and use it was fuel. This has been done in America to quite a success.


            There are many ways of dealing with waste, all of which have their own set of problems and some create more than they solve but something has to be done and soon.

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              23.08.2007 10:36
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              An issue to be addressed,

              How many of us have been walking through town or standing at a bus stop when some youth (sorry to stereotype, but it's largely the case) throws a sweet wrapper, crisp bag or empty drink can on the floor, no more than 3 yards from a bin?!

              It irks me and most of us that a growing number of people seem to think it's perfectly fine to litter our streets, either because they think some nameless council employee will sweep it up, or just because they can't be bothered to divert 3 yards to the bin.

              Any attempt to reason with said youth will usually result in a sneer or a laugh with his mates about how sad or 'gay' you are.

              Councils do now have the power to issue on the spot fines, but is it really a deterrent? How often do the few Community Support Officers or City Wardens catch up with someone who they actually see drop litter, and then how often will the youth stand and await his punishment?

              Sadly, a lack of respect and education is the root cause. These miscreants see nothing wrong in littering, and think those who do are petty and sad, and that surely the police have better things to do like catch bank robbers.

              We need to address this general slide in respect and values - starting in schools. If kids have to learn about accepting those of other faiths thesedays, surely they can be subjected to lessons in respect for our streets.

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                28.02.2007 09:55
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                Litter needs removing from our society

                In some local authorities dropping litter is punishable by a 50 quid on the spot fine, but looking at the area where I live I wonder if this is ever enforced?

                Last week on a neat middle class housing development I saw a man with cart and shovel and broom, painstakingly walking around searching for litter. I watched him for several minutes and in all that time I saw him pick up one piece of paper! Why? Because that was all there was.

                Shortly afterwards I was stuck in traffic on one of the major roads, about 3 minutes from the housing development, and along the grass verges and hedgerows was all kinds of litter. Some of it had obviously been there for a long time, judging by the tatty pieces of paper stuck in the bushes.

                Why, I wonder, doesn't the local authority send the litter collector (or whatever his job title is in these PC days!) to do his job on that stretch of road?

                But of course, more to the point, who are these people who throw their litter onto the roadside or anywhere else, apart from in their own dustbins? I know it isn't me, and I can guess it is probably not you either.

                We will have educated our kids, just as we were educated ourselves both at school and at home, that dropping litter is not nice. Remember the old ads on tv showing a funny little character dropping paper into a bin with the slogan "take your litter home". I don't see them very often nowadays.

                Last year, during the summer GCSE and A Level exams, it was reported in our local paper that students sitting exams were being issued with free bottles of water. Great idea! But what happened to all those empty bottles afterwards? I will tell you, they were thrown on the roads near the school, hundreds of them rolling around in the gutters.

                Chewing gum is another pet hate of mine. All those black blobs stuck to the pavement where some irresponsible individual has spat out his/her chewing gum. This is bad enough, but it is even worse when they stick it in places where others can come across it! A friend of mine had a good coat ruined when she sat on a bus where some idiot had stuck chewing gum onto the seat.

                Some years ago a high school I know of punished pupils for lateness, unruly behaviour etc, not by giving them detention but by sending them out into the school grounds in their breaktimes to pick up litter. They were equipped with the long handled claw things (don't know their proper name) and gloves so there really was not much danger to them. And after all, they were probably guilty of dropping some of the litter. But what happened? Some little darlings ran home to mummy who complained to the Headteacher and that practice had to be stopped in case it was "dangerous."

                I am not sure what the solution is to the litter problems of today. We live in a throwaway society and it is not unusual to see furniture dumped at the side of the road or fridges dumped, all because people have to pay for them to be disposed of. These are litter too and the council tax payers end of footing the bill in the long run.

                We are constantly being told to recycle, but the amount of glass bottles littering the streets at weekends could probably fill a recycling container! All this in an area near clubs and pubs, why then don't the council put a glass recycling container nearby? Well I will tell you why, because the people who own the pubs and clubs would complain and say it was unsightly. Besides, I don't suppose it would do much good, these people drink as they walk along the street and drop their bottles where they happen to be when they have emptied them, so I have just answered my own argument there I think.

                I remember as a child about five years old, walking in the park with my grandad and I threw a sweetie wrapper on the floor. Grandad was annoyed with me and gave me a lecture on what would happen if everyone did that and how parks were there for everyone to admire. That lesson has stayed with me for the rest of my life.

                Shame today's kids don't have a grandad like mine, because they need someone to educate them. But it is sadly not just the problem of children, adults are just as guilty of dropping litter. How many of us have seen people throwing things out of their car windows as they drive along? What is wrong with keeping a carrier bag in the car and taking your litter home?

                Let's start a campaign to clean up Britain!

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                  04.09.2006 09:54
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                  see review

                  Depending on where you come from in the country depends on how bad the litter situation is and how it is tackled.

                  Wakefield (because that is where I live) in the centre is very clean, I rarely see litter swept about and piled in corners. If you go out on a Friday or Saturday night its completely different. It is filthy with takeaway wrappers and bottles, rubbish in general. However, come 6.00am the streets are clean and there is not a speck of litter in sight.

                  The only gripe I have with Wakefield, and it is just the station - no bins - I do realise that this is because of terrorist attacks, but there seems to be nothing else to replace the lack of bins.

                  The council have been. Every morning it's the same the council are through Wakefield centre and have cleaned up. Regularly through the day there are street cleaners and generally all the bins are emptied daily and new binliners put back in. There are recycling bins placed around the town so there is no excuse.

                  Lets look at another town - Sheffield or London - I have been there frequently and often litter has been blowing round, the streets are covered and bins are full. I rarely see a street cleaner. How is it these boroughs are unable to provide the same service as Wakefield??

                  I realise the onus is not on the people who clean, but on the people who litter, but who polices that? When the law changed about being fined for littering with cigarette butts I thought well who is going to enforce this. Before I stopped smoking and before this law I never threw my cig butts on the floor. I have never littered. But I have always wondered who would enforce it if I did. You have seen the signs £500 for littering. Who would catch you? Does anyone actually know anyone who has been fined? I don't, nor have I ever heard a story about someone who has been fined.

                  I believe the responsibility is upon the individual and it is up to them to dispose of litter correctly and to pass on to their children the correct way of doing this. I do with my son, it does bring about a smaller problem, which is how do you stop them picking up everyone elses litter. My son puts all his litter in the bin, and he not adverse to picking other litter up. Although I want him to be enviromentally friendly I don't want him picking up other litter without suitable protection (rubber gloves). I don't know how to deal with this with him.

                  But then, I wouldn't need to if everyone else disposed of their litter. I find it appalling that people with or without kids in my age group (grown up) can think littering is ok and not pass on a good attitude to their children and other children around them.

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                    28.11.2004 19:10
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                    ~Introduction~

                    The issue of litter and littering is one that has dropped down the order as far as public concerns go. There are other seemingly more important things such as fox hunting, the war and racism that have come to the fore recently. The problem of littering hasn't just gone away over night and it is still clear that it is a huge problem in this country. The impacts of littering do stretch beyond the simple fact that it is an eye sore and a nuisance.


                    I had to write an essay on littering and recycling for my general studies lesson at school last year. I have also covered similar issues in geography classes, linked in with tourism and population. These have both educated me about litter and the damage that it inflicts on the environment, everything around us.


                    ~The Problem~

                    The majority of the public, are good citizens and endeavour to putting their rubbish in bins or taking it home with them. There are by contrast, those who just dump their rubbish in the street without any consideration for the consequences. The litter itself makes places look very dirty and grubby, which can put people off from visiting. The site of litter on the streets just doesn't give a good impression. In parks and other public areas, litter looks even worse and takes away the natural feel of the place.


                    ~Consequences~

                    The impact of litter that is dropped does have a much greater effect than just making places look a complete mess. The wildlife of an area can be affected dramatically. Inquisitive animals approach rubbish to see what it is. They may then become entangled with items or injury themselves on glass or metal. There are others that may become dependant on a particular source of food from litter and live off of that. This will affect the ecosystem and also other animals associated with them.


                    ~Measures~

                    There are a number of things that can be done to reduce the amount of litter that we see on the streets and in other parts of the country. These will all add up to making the place much more attractive and also a lot nicer to live in.


                    ~Street Cleaners~

                    This isn’t a method of combating the initial littering, but one of dealing with the existing and probable future problems of litter. There are a huge number of people employed in this country, whose sole purpose is to relieve the streets of their litter and make them clean. There are a lot of main high streets and busy road junctions that get regular cleaning to keep them looking fairly good. Other areas are cleaned less frequently but still receive some attention. They do a pretty good job at keeping the streets tidy but the extent of littering is quite severe. They do have their work cut out at times and picking up every last bit of litter is incredibly difficult.


                    ~Product Packaging~

                    There is an awful lot of wrapping and packaging that comes with a lot of the food and drink that you buy whilst you are on the go. There seem to be two layers of wrapping on chocolate bars and packets of crisps are only half filled. This is unnecessary waste that consumers have to carry around with them and they invariably drop the waste on the floor. If the packages were smaller then customers may put them in their bags or pockets until they find a bin. If they do end up on the floor, the impact will be somewhat reduced as the amount of waste will be less. There should be some measures put in place, to force companies to change the way that they package items of food and drink. They should also be forced to put things on the packaging, encouraging people to put it into the bin once they have finished it.


                    ~Provision of Bins~

                    There are some people that say that there are simply not enough bins in some areas for them to put their rubbish into. There are some problems with providing bins in some areas. They are often moved and tampered with by youths and I have seen a lot of them floating in rivers in various locations. The smell of food also attracts wildlife such as foxes and other scavengers to areas. This can upset the ecosystem and some animals become too reliant on the dustbins as a source of food. However, as long as the bins are emptied regularly then the provision of extra bins is viable. The location of bins should also be taken into account. The most common locations for rubbish are people have to wait or hang around; bus stops are a good example. The bins should place near to these areas to encourage the public to make use of them.


                    ~Fines~

                    There are some rather sketchy measures in place, whereby you can be fined for dropping litter. However, I have never heard of anybody being fined for such an offence. There could be special days where police clamp down on littering by increasing their presence in troubled areas. They can dish out heavy fines and hopefully get a very stern message across to the public. I think that after a while, people will start to realise that they should be putting their waste into bins.


                    ~Conclusion~

                    It is fairly obvious that littering is still a prominent problem within the United Kingdom. There does seem to be continued investment by local authorities to send people out to clear up the mess. However, it will be much cheaper and far simpler to tackle the source of the litter problem. The public needs to be educated on the impacts of littering more and also punished if they continue to do it. Littering is something that needs to be addressed and also stamped out very quickly.



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                    19.08.2004 16:28
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                    • Lazy

                    I can?t stand littering, it drives me absolutely mad to see beautiful places spoilt by the laziness of the few. What really annoys me, however, is that the litterers would probably be the first to complain if somebody dumped litter in the middle of their own front lawn? My real pet hate, however, is the amount of littler spoiling the Countryside. I?ve always loved going for a drive or a walk down country lanes, but it?s getting increasingly difficult to enjoy, nowadays, as I keep getting hot under the collar moaning about the amount of rubbish, mostly fast food wrappers, that seem to breed at the sides of the lanes? The lanes closest to my house are literally ?littered?. Even worse, fly tipping proliferates ? no sooner have the council cleared up one huge pile of somebody?s old junk, when another one appears. Can it REALLY be so difficult for these people to take the rubbish to the dump, like the rest of us do? I mean, they?ve stuck it in the boot of the car or back of the lorry to cart it into the countryside, anyway, so they might as well drive a couple more miles to the tip! It?s ridiculous that councils up and down the country have to spend OUR money, paid in taxes, cleaning up after the few who are basically too lazy to dispose of their own rubbish properly? Honestly, it makes my blood boil! There?s a gorgeous little wood close to my house, with a picnic area, a lovely walk, and until recently a reasonably sized car park. However, nowadays the car park has been permanently closed? Why? Well, I guess the council got sick and tired of towing away two or three burnt out cars a week from the car park. Closing the car park has solved the problem, as the thieves can?t get in their to dump their stolen cars anymore? Unfortunately, it means that the rest of us who loved to use this car park ?legally? now can?t? Yes, I know
                    that this isn?t exactly littering, but it?s near enough for me, and a sad example of the way the world is going? When I was in school (many, many years ago) it was somehow ?fashionable? to drop litter ? it was the cool thing to do ? especially if you happened to nonchalantly mutter that you were ?keeping somebody in a job? by doing so. Yes, I realise how ridiculous this is. If the Councils didn?t have to employ people to clean up after the rest of us, they could spend money on more worthwhile ventures? Still, we all used to do it, that is, until one young lady threw an apple core over her shoulder, only to have it land at the feet of the local PC. He was far from pleased, and ordered her to pick it up before frogmarching her to the nearest bin to deposit her apple core in there instead. Worked a treat for us? well, at least we were careful to check for ?coppers? before throwing our rubbish on the floor in future! I?ve always thought that if there were more active measures to prevent littering in general, then perhaps people would be less likely to do it. Then I learned about an initiative that?s taking place in Cleethorpes right now. Basically, they?ve employed special ?litter wardens? who patrol the seafront, ordering anybody they spot dropping litter to clean it up? Anybody who refuses receives a fine! Apparently it?s cleared the streets of Cleethorpes up dramatically, and made the litterers think twice before dropping that candy floss stick or chip tray on the floor! Oddly enough, when I wrote my notes for this opinion, several weeks ago, I was going to suggest ?litter police? as a good idea, only to discover that it?s already been put into practice! However, my own penalties for litterers would?ve been much more severe than a simple fine! Oh yes, in MY utopia litterers would be forced to push around a yellow barrow, cleanin
                    g the streets themselves, wearing an obnoxiously coloured boiler suit (fluorescent pink, perhaps?) with huge, bold writing on the back proclaiming ?I?m being punished for littering? or fly tipping, or whatever? Now THAT would stop the pesky little blighters! These initiatives don?t always work, however. In Luton they have ?chewing gum? posters for people to deposit their chewing gum on, rather than throwing it on the floor to stick to the shoes of the next passer by. However, I have only ever seen these poster-pads empty of posters! Whilst I agree that it?s a great idea in theory, if the council don?t keep the posters stocked up, it?s a complete waste of time, effort and money! Personally, however, I think that the fines for littering should be much higher! I?d make them just as tough as the fines for people who don?t clean up after their dogs (which should also be tougher!) I?d also introduce massive fines for horse riders who don?t clean up after their horses? As for general litterers, I?d always presumed that kids were the worst offenders. In some ways this is true, I watched a kid of about ten years old finish his soft drink a few days ago and simply drop the empty bottle on the pavement behind him? Still, I can?t blame the kids for the lager cans and cigarette packets that I?m constantly clearing out of my front garden? The worst thing is that there?s a litter bin on the corner of my street, not even 100 yards from my front door! Of course, there are occasions when it?s difficult not to litter. For example, in train stations. Yes, I can understand why they wouldn?t want to have litter bins in train stations, what with terrorist threats and the likes, so they have staff patrolling the platforms picking up litter instead? Fair enough, it keeps the platform clean after all? But then, why do they have litter
                    bins on the trains? Doesn?t it matter if a terrorist chooses to blow up the actual train (especially if it happens to be in a station at the time?) Sometimes the logic (or lack of it) defies me! Still, I?m veering away from the point somewhat, which is basically that littering and the people who litter are abhorrent to me, even though I used to be an offender! If I see somebody I know littering I really lose respect for them (if I had any for them in the first place!) It?s basically the worst case of ignorance and laziness, and should carry a criminal sentence, that?d stop ?em! Capital letters courtesy of: http://www.chuckleweb.co.uk/fixit.php

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                      25.07.2004 04:52
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                      I'm not talking about the UK specifically here, as in my opinion and experience, most countries around the world seem to suffer from it to some extent. I find it hard to comprehend, never being a litter-bug myself, why people do just throw rubbish around. We live in a beautiful world and some people seem content on making it unsightly. We should teach our children from an early age that it's wrong - I'm sure most of us do anyway. If they drop something, make them pick it up. It's harder when we see someone else doing it isn't it? We want to tell them - but it could be a gang of young lads (or girls), someone bigger than ourselves, and we don't want to take the risk of getting verbal abuse. We could pick it up ourselves, but how many of us do that? And why should we? Why is it so difficult to find a bin, and put it in, or take it home with us? I don't find it hard, but why do some people? I've been to some beautiful countries, five star hotels which are immaculate inside, but venture outside of the gates and it's a tip - literally. Why do locals think it's right for tourists to take home these unsightly images? I walk in the countryside regularly, and am amazed that people throw all sorts around - but why? A lot of questions, I don't know the answers too. I can see though, that future generations are really going to have a big problem if attitudes (particularly the younger people) don't change. Wouldn't it be much nicer to have clean streets?

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                        21.08.2003 08:51

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                        man oh man how lazy can some dudes get dropping litter and stuff all over, shame on you mr and mrs uk. Is it a lack of bins? no, its a culture. Look beside bins, people even drop litter when theres a bin around, moreso sometimes (ahh someone will be emptying that bin anyway so they'll get this crisp packet). great shame. They throw stuff from car windows. They throw stuff on streets on grass in rivers and seas, they throw it everywhere. Culture man, thats all thats to blame. Bring in big fines. chastise others on the streets, smack their sad assssses for littering, maybe they'll learn, probably not, but those of us who care should try to do something constructive instead of saying tsk under our breaths. make them stop, they wont do it by themselves.

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                        19.07.2003 08:29
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                        I think that dropping litter is a very selfish thing to do and people should be ashamed of themselves if they do it. Many of the times it is probably the fault of parents not teaching their children that throwing litter is wrong. Things like paper are messy and make the place untidy but they are biogradeable and don't do too much real damage but things like plastic can lie around for nearly a million years. Dropping food is one of the worst kinds of littering because it attracts rats and foxes into the streets and they spread disease. If people are found to be dropping litter they should be given a big bag and a stick and sent out to clean up the entire town like the council workers do. To prevent job losses the council workers could supervise and make sure the litter bugs were doing it properly and they could drive the vans to pick up the full bags. Everyone should think before dropping litter and look for a bin or take their rubbish home.

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                          15.06.2003 16:17
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                          People who drop litter should be tied to the stake, covered in stale bread crumbs and have ducks set on them. A slow death by the pecking of ducks might just deter other people from dropping litter! It is just such a pointless activity – most litter seems to be only a few metres from a bin, so why didn’t the person just walk those extra few feet! Grrrr! Some people blame fast food outlets for litter. I think that they may be responsible for an increase in the amount of litter, but really they are just providing more ammunition for the litterers. The key cause is the people themselves – the rubbish could be put in the bin – it is their action in throwing it on the ground that is the problem. We live in the same road as several schools, and our front garden has several crisp packets and drinks cans thrown in it every day. There are bins in the schools and further up the road, but the evil little kids cannot bear to hold onto their empty wrappers for just a minute more. I plan to hide behind our garden wall and throw the cans back at them, along with some rocks. That’ll teach them. Towns and cities are covered with rubbish, creating eyesores and demoralising people who live there. But litter is not just unsightly, it can be dangerous. It attracts pests such as rats that carry disease into towns and cities and animals can be trapped in packaging. People can be injured as well, cut on jagged cans or broken glass. Littering is horrible, and this should be forced into small children’s heads as soon as possible. Creating a culture of tidiness and cleanliness when young should stop people littering in the future as yobbish teenagers (I may be a teenager but I am not of the yobbish kind) or slovenly adults. If that fails then research should endeavour to find the “litter gene” and burn it from offender’s brains. It is just so antisocial to leave your rubbish to be cleared up b
                          y someone else. When I was at primary school our headmaster made us pick up litter every break time. We hated it but the playground was clean, and people didn’t drop litter because they would only have to pick it up later. People who drop litter should be made to pick up lots and lots of really disgusting rubbish, while naked or if not practical then while wearing brightly coloured overalls. An element of name and shame as well as making up for what they have done. Oh, and before I go an idea for a slogan: “Littering: It’s rubbish”.

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                            08.04.2003 16:45
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                            What really makes me mad about littering is that it is so blatantly just a result of laziness and a lack of respect for the environment. I suspect if you are reading this, then the odds are you share my views. There's not much to be gained from preaching to the converted, but here we go anyway. Apart from being unsightly, the throwing of litter onto the ground causes a range of problems. 1) Edible litter attracts rats. Rats are not the nicest of beasties, they do carry diseases sometimes, they can be very destructive and they can become a real nusiance in urban environments. 2) Litter damages wildlife and domestic animals - dogs will sink their teeth into almost anything and they do get injured by litter, and litter poses an ongoing threat to all sorts of creatures as well as blocking out the light for plants. 3)Do you want your children playing in it? It hardly makes for a safe, clean environment for kids. The vast bulk of litter, based on observation, is material from food products, discarded by people too idle to find a bin or take it home. A MacDonalds in a town centre always leads to vast numbers of empty drinks containers and burger boxes, but most fast food outlets add to the problem. As far as I can tell, people of all ages indulge in this inconsiderate practise. Some people take a far more dramatic approach to littering - fly tipping. The act of taking a load of your household waste and, isntead of driving it to the nearest dump, depositing it on the side of the road. These impromtu dumps are ugly, hazardous and again, why? Is it so much effort to drive to a dump? I'll admit it's an attitude I don't understand. Perhaps the most worrying form of litter is that left from drug taking - improvised kit for glue sniffing (I found some of this one left in the grounds of my secondry school) and the dreaded syringes. Left anywhere these are bad news, but more often than not they seem
                            to end up in children's play areas, making it unsafe for children to be let out on their own. So what can you do about it? Not a lot. Kids walk past my front garden to and from school every day and I get a regular supply of crisp packets thrown over the fence, despite there being a wheelie bin at the top of the drive - I'd be more than happy if they used that instead. While it isn't just kids, they do seem to be the worst culprits. The council cannot afford the manpower requierd to clean up. What depresses me most is this - I've got a group of volunteers who want to clean up a local beauty spot, but we have been told by the council responsible for it (not Redditch) that to do so we will have to take out 5 million pounds worth of public liability insurance! So you can't even clear it up yourself without running into problems. So, what solutions? Bigger fines for those who go fly tipping, and more attention to this rather than just turnnig a blind eye. The other useful one would be less packaging - its the packaging from snacks that gets spread about the most, and most of it is plastic and won't rot down. In many ways, our litter problem is a symptom of a culture that has no respect for the environment, no awareness of any responsibility for suroundings and is too bone idle to make the tiny effort needed to tidy up after itself. The dreadful state of our public spaces should be a source of shame to all of us. It is unreasonable to ask that the council takes full responsibility and bears the cost of this never ending cleanup job, butI don't rate the chances of getting our 'not my problem' society to change its behavior any time soon.

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                              07.04.2003 06:01

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                              A curable "British Disesase"? - Advantages: Makes me appreciate other countries, Solution is obvious, £1000 fine or 120 hour community service - Disadvantages: I am ashamed of us, Causes run deep

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