No matter how beautiful your town centre is, or the excellence and variety of the visitor and shopping offer, if it's strewn with litter, that is what people will remember. First impressions count. Here are just a few ideas to help tackle this persistent problem. For more ideas check out Keep Britain Tidy.
Cigarette ends are litter and it is a finable offence to drop one on the ground or road. To support the smokers who cluster outside buildings to be tidy and avoid risking a fine, cigarette bins can be useful. Most cigarette bins are small in size and can be wall mounted, meaning they are discrete and do not act as an eyesore. They are fairly cheap to obtain (a standard wall mountable cigarette bin costs in the region of £100+mounting), and they will provide years of service thanks to their fire-proof metal construction. Some local partnerships bulk purchase cigarette bins for their members to help keep the price down and the area tidy. Don’t forget that each bin will need to be emptied regularly, so make sure the relevant building occupants take responsibility for this, or it can defeat the purpose of having them.
Another tip for reducing cigarette end litter with the added advantage of fire prevention is to ensure that the main litter bins in your town centre have a stub out plate on the top to deter smokers from dropping cigarette ends in the bin whilst still lit.
If litter is a big problem in your town centre, it may be worth considering employing litter wardens. Whilst this type of scheme is generally suited to larger places, smaller areas may find scope for incorporating aspects of the job into existing employee roles. The litter warden patrols the streets, ensuring that both the public and businesses are disposing of waste responsibly. If anyone is caught breaking the law, fixed penalty notices can be issued – in addition, the presence of litter wardens represents a key deterrent for people who drop litter or illegally dump.
‘On-the-Go’ Recycling Bins and Zones
Recycling is becoming a part of the daily routine for many people, largely due to the rapidly increasing costs, both environmental and financial, of throwing everything into landfill. The installation of ‘On-the-Go’ recycling bins and zones, designed for post-consumer waste can help to instil good habits, reduce costs to the local taxpayer, reduce detrimental environmental impact, and contribute to an image of your town centre as clean, attractive and environmentally friendly. Although there are costs to installing new bins and recycling zones, service costs associated with traditional landfill activities can be reduced as a result. Most waste collection services are now geared up to collect separated waste in specially adapted vehicles, and the separated plastic, paper, glass, tins, and food waste have a bulk re-sale value. Work with waste management companies and the local authority to ensure that your town centre has multi-hole bins installed and at least one recycling centre to minimise the waste going into landfill.