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New litter campaign aims to help clean up communities

SWANSEA Council has launched a hard-hitting summer anti-littering campaign to encourage visitors and residents alike to do the right thing and take their rubbish home with them.

litter poster 2020

Signs urging people not to toss their litter in the park, on the beach or on streets or waysides will be going up at locations across the city starting this week as part of a 'Don't be a Tosser' campaign.

The 'Don't Be a Tosser' campaign has been used by other councils recently including York, Bath and Cardiff and it's generated interest and support from the public who refuse to tolerate littering in their neighbourhood.

It focusses on those dumping litter and asks: 'Why are you tossing litter around here?', to which the answers are 'I'm lazy', 'I don't care about this community' and 'I think other people should pay to clean up after me'.

The move comes at the start of the school summer holidays and as the Welsh Government continues to ease lockdown measures allowing more people to head to the beach or the park.

To back-up the anti-littering drive the council has also advertised for a partner organisation to provide a task-force of officers trained to issue fixed penalties to people caught littering or not cleaning up after their pet.

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement and Infrastructure Development, said Swansea Council spends millions of pounds a year clearing up after fly-tippers and those who think it's OK to litter beaches, parks and other beauty spots.

He said: "Littering is not OK. Our residents say it's not OK and we say it's not OK. The Don't be a Tosser message is strongly reinforcing the point.

"It's a hard-hitting, eye-catching way to try to get people talking about the issue and to discourage people from tossing litter away thoughtlessly for someone else to deal with."

Cllr Thomas said: "The council plays it part in keeping our communities clean and tidy. Every morning our teams are out early hand-clearing litter from our beaches, our parks and the city centre. Every day people return and when they leave some do the wrong thing and leave their rubbish behind.

"Whether bins are half-empty or full - if you can bring stuff with you to the beach or park, you can take the waste home with you. It's not rocket science. It's about people taking pride in their communities."
At a time when council resources are being re-directed to support the effort against Coronavirus while maintaining services and supporting those still vulnerable, Cllr Thomas said it isn't much to ask that people stop littering in their communities.

He said: "A few years ago we ran anti dog-fouling campaign, highlighting the problem and encouraging owners to behave responsibly and respect their communities by picking up the waste.

"It created a lot of interest and did see an increase in the amount of waste disposed of appropriately and we're hoping this latest campaign will do the same."

The council's initiative to recruit a partner organisation to issue anti-litter fixed penalty notices could be in place by the end of the year.

Under the scheme fixed penalties could be issued for a number of offences including, littering, dog fouling, ignoring dogs on beaches bans and fly tipping.

Cllr Thomas said: "We see regular calls for the council to fine those that carry out this type of anti-social behaviour and wish to see this selfish attitude eradicated.

"This is not something the council can do alone, we need the public to support us and we also need a partner to assist with the enforcement."

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