Headlines: July 20th, 2010

Council leaders have stressed that everyone could play a part in saving huge sums of money by not creating litter. The Local Government Association was responding to figures from Keep Britain Tidy that show English local authorities spend 858 million pounds a year cleaning litter from streets.

Keep Britain Tidy has launched a campaign with local authorities to encourage people to do their bit to clean up the places where they live. It has revealed that figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government showed a 100 million pound increase in the cost of dealing with litter.

Phil Barton, Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, said the figure was truly shocking and it was obscene that the country was spending so much in clearing rubbish that people could not be bothered to put in bins. ‘We all complain when we see what is perceived to be wasteful spending in organisations and institutions and yet we, as a country, seem to be quite happy to throw litter and, consequently, money away,” he said.

Gary Porter, who chairs the LGA Environment Board, said with council budgets being stretched increasingly it was outrageous that they had to spend more than three-quarters of a billion pounds cleaning up after people. “This is money that would be better spent on vital frontline services,” he said and added: “Litter is environmental vandalism. It’s unpleasant, unnecessary and unacceptable. It might seem like just one chip packet or just one cigarette end, but it adds up to a mountain of litter.”