From sea to streets – campaigning to keep our city clean

City residents and tourists have been asked to name their favourite guilty pleasure – chocolate or cheese – before dropping their litter into a special new bin in the city.

The bin, located on New Road, gave people the chance to vote for their best loved indulgence while helping keep the city’s streets clean. 

And in a further move to create litter free streets, smokers are being encouraged to stub their cigarettes out in ballot-style voting boxes rather than drop them on the pavement or road.

This is the second phase of the city council’s #StreetsAhead campaign which aims to capture the public’s imagination and ensure people dispose of their litter responsibly and keep the city’s streets clean.

Phase one launched in August and focused on removing litter from the seafront, including silent disco beach cleans to prevent waste being washed into the sea and endangering marine life.

Phase 2 takes the campaign from the beach to the city’s streets including North Street, New Road, Queens Road, some of North Laine and a part of Western Road.

It brings together colourful vinyl posters on the council’s Big Belly bins; artwork around street drains to remind people not to drop their litter there; posters in shops of the businesses supporting the campaign; and a special art display in New Road of a fish made from waste dumped on the beach.

The cigarette ‘ballot bins’ are located where an unsightly build-up of cigarettes butts can occur, taking in Jubilee Street, East Street, Brighton Street, New Road and St James’s Street. 

Although the questions are set at present, they will change, with residents being asked what they should be through mini-competitions on social media starting in January.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “We began the #StreetsAhead campaign by tackling litter on the beach. Now we’re turning our attention to the city’s streets to raise awareness of how people can dispose of their rubbish responsibly, and keep both our city and beach clean as 80 per cent of litter in the sea comes from the land.  

“We all want to live in, work in or walk round streets that are clean and free from litter, including cigarette ends, empty plastic bottles and food wrappings. There is no excuse for anyone who throws or drops their rubbish on our streets, and a vast majority of the public agree.”

The campaign is funded by Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) fines that have been handed to people caught dropping litter, including cigarette ends, on our streets. PFNs have proved popular with residents after a recent council survey showed 88 per cent of those surveyed believe there should be stricter fines for litterbugs.

Cllr Mitchell added: “This campaign is a reminder to people who may not think before they throw their litter onto the street. But it must also serve as a warning to those who litter our streets without a care who, if caught, will face a fine."