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Is enough being done locally to tackle the issue of littering?

July 12, 2018 5:00 PM
By Gary Fuller in Folkestone Herald - Talking Points

Rubbish BinLittering isn't just dropping the odd sweet wrapper. It covers everything from dog poo to fly-tipping. Littering is not looking after your environment. Locally there are two issues. We don't do enough to encourage and support responsible disposal of waste and what enforcement action takes place seems to be focussed on parking.

The question of enforcement action is one about being flexible with resources. PCSOs and Parish Councils, for example, can issue fixed penalty notices for littering, graffiti, fly-posting and "dog control offences". District Councils can employ officers to fulfil multiple enforcement roles, rather than focusing on parking. Our District Council should be seeking to co-ordinate enforcement action between various bodies.

Tackling littering isn't all about enforcement. Reducing barriers to disposing of waste is equally important. There are various ways we can do this. For years local Lib Dems have been calling on the Council to supply seagull proof bags. Such bags make it less likely that rubbish from sacks will end up strewn over our streets. Street cleaning should also follow bin collection, so that cleaners visit a street soon after the bin lorry arrives.

To tackle street littering and dog mess, we should ensure that bins are emptied regularly. But we can go further. Putting in place additional bins in specific areas at busy times would help prevent bins overflowing. Dispensers for dog waste bags, which have been used with some success in Sandgate, would encourage more dog owners to clean up after their dogs.

It also needs to be cheaper for families to get rid of waste. Garden waste bins and large item collections are prohibitively expensive for low income households without a car. Similarly, we don't offer composting facilities at recycling points. These are some of the ways we could do more to tackle litter locally.