#CleanUpWilts: Wiltshire-wide litter campaign launched
We spend £2.5 million on clearing up our beautiful landscape and this is a totally avoidable cost. This is money that could be better spent on vital frontline servicesBridget Wayman, cabinet member for highways, transport and waste
Children from a local school today (27 September) helped to launch the first phase of a county-wide litter campaign, which aims to reduce the £2.5million bill taxpayers currently pay to clean up litter thrown by people in Wiltshire.
The launch of the first phase of #CleanUpWilts is sponsored by Landmarc Support Services (Landmarc), and saw pupils from St Thomas à Becket CE Primary School in Tilshead take part in a litter pick and there was a fly-tipped ‘crime scene' to demonstrate the blight and impact of fly tipping in the county.
Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for highways, transport and waste, said: "It is very disappointing that people feel it is acceptable to discard litter in Wiltshire.
"We spend £2.5 million on clearing up our beautiful landscape and this is a totally avoidable cost. This is money that could be better spent on vital frontline services.
"I am so pleased that local businesses are supporting this campaign, which aims to raise awareness of this totally unacceptable behaviour and provide a practical solution with the bag for life for people to keep in their vehicle.
"If we all do our bit and take our litter home and not throw it out of vehicles, we will help to keep Wiltshire beautiful, protect the wildlife, and be in a position to allocate the current budget on other key services.
"The fly tip mountain created for today's launch illustrates this anti-social behaviour and we will take action and enforce wherever possible to encourage a change in behaviour.
"Landmarc, as the main sponsor, is helping to provide information on the impact on the environment and the wildlife. The schoolchildren that attended today have learnt a lot and have been so helpful taking part in the litter pick."
The countywide campaign will focus on:
• Fly-tipping raising awareness of the penalties and consequences September 2017
• Fast-food, on the go littering (and the provision of sponsored bags for life) roadshow and distribution of bags February 2018
• Community litter picks and clean-up of local hot spots March 2018
Commenting on Landmarc's support for the campaign, Steve Utley, managing director of Landmarc, said: "As part of our role to support the MOD Defence training estate, we manage huge areas of some of the country's most beautiful landscapes, which includes Salisbury Plain.
"The Plain is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and it is our duty to protect and preserve it for generations to come, but over recent years, we have been facing a significant challenge with fly-tipping. This is not only an eye-sore and environmentally-damaging, but is costing the tax payer money over £29,000 last year alone.
"That's why we're delighted to get involved with the #CleanUpWilts campaign, helping to raise awareness of this important issue and work in partnership with our local communities to help maintain and enhance our natural habitats for everyone to enjoy."
Fly-tipping is an offence under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act (1990). The maximum penalties for fly-tipping on summary conviction are a £50,000 fine and/or 12 months imprisonment, and on conviction in a Crown Court an unlimited fine and/or five years imprisonment. In addition, Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for small scale fly-tipping can also be issued (£400).
Local businesses are encouraged to get involved through sponsorship opportunities to support the provision of the bags for life, and the equipment to assist communities with their clean ups.
The campaign is currently supported by Landmarc, Spire FM, McDonald's and MJ Church. For more information on sponsorship opportunities to support this countywide campaign, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.