Litter clearing costs soar to �6m a year

THE cost of cleaning up litter from the region’s streets reached just over �6million last year, it has emerged.

The news comes in light of a new report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) which says the cost of cleaning up street litter across the UK has risen to �858m.

The report, which used figures collected by Keep Britain Tidy, claims the figure is a �100m increase compared to 12 months ago.

In the East of England, Tendring District Council spends about �1.5m each year, Ipswich Borough Council spends just over �1m, Chelmsford Borough Council spends �1.17m, Waveney District Council spends �773,000, Suffolk Coastal spends �600,000 and Mid Suffolk spends �180,000.

Babergh District Council spent �522,000 in 2009/10 compared to �511,000 during 2008/09.

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Forest Heath District Council spent �580,137 during 2009/10 compared to �640,000 in 2009/09.

Several councils pointed out that the amounts also included costs for dealing with fly-tipping, removing abandoned vehicles and cleaning up dog mess.

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Viv Hotten, a spokesman for Suffolk Coastal District Council, said that overall, the statistics showed that litter was less of a problem than in other parts.

“Initiatives like the Suffolk Spring Cleans and Radio Suffolk’s Don’t Be a Tosser campaigns have probably helped enthuse local communities to carry out local tidy-ups,” he said.”

Paul Simon, spokesman for Babergh District Council, added: “The increase in the amount we are paying our contractor between the two years cited is simply due to the industry indices agreed at contract negotiation stage.”

Lynda McWilliams, Tendring District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Litter and rubbish is not something just for the council to deal with – every single one of us has a part to play and we cannot tackle this on our own without the public’s support.”

The CPRE said that the report’s findings highlighted the need to reinforce their Stop the Drop anti-litter campaign across the country.

Samantha Harding, campaign manager, said: “We are told we are living in the age of austerity but the cost of litter has exploded by almost �100m and shows no signs of slowing down.

“We need a concerted and sustained public information campaign to educate people about the true costs of littering. We must make littering as unacceptable as vandalism.

“It’s going to take Government and industry to make this work but without action, the costs can only go up.”

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