Education first - fines later for litter bugs

Our new anti-litter team will be out in force from Monday – educating the public on how to avoid being fined for dumping rubbish on the street or fly-tipping.

For the next two weeks, our environmental enforcement officers will issue helpful warnings instead of fines when they see someone dropping cigarette butts or litter, or leaving unwanted items on the street or beside a bin.

Ensuring we all get it right

The team has already visited more than 1000 city businesses, big and small, to advise and remind them of their legal responsibilities on getting rid of their waste. 

Now they’re turning their attention to educating residents and visitors on keeping our city’s streets clean.

The officers joined the council after the contract with controversial company 3GS come to an end recently.

Cllr Gill Mitchell and the environmental enforcement team

“A new beginning for the council”

Cllr Gill Mitchell, chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “We’ve brought the officers in-house to ensure there is clearer management of the team and greater accountability.

“As this is a new beginning for the council and the service, we’re taking the opportunity to educate people on their responsibility for keeping our beautiful city clean and tidy.

“We also want to ensure we’re being fair with everyone so will be approaching people in the street, including residents, tourists and students, with advice on how to avoid being fined. 

“We will also be dropping in on colleges, universities and language schools to ask them to remind their students on a regular basis how to be fine free.”

Cigarette butts are litter too

Cllr Mitchell added: “There is still a large number of people who think throwing a cigarette butt on the ground or down a drain isn’t littering. But the first litters our streets and the second can add to clogging up our drainage system. But anyone caught after our two week education programme will face a £75 fine.

“There are also lots of people who think leaving items they don’t want any more on the street, like furniture, mirrors or mattresses, is fine. But this is fly-tipping and a £300 fine will be issued.”

The 3GS jet black uniform – which some people say they found intimidating – has been replaced with a light blue jacket and black trousers. The officers will still wear body cameras for the public’s and their own protection, and can use any footage if fines are disputed.

The officers will begin issuing fines after the two week education drive.