A new £500,000 fund to help community groups tackle the issue of littering in their neighbourhood has been welcomed on South Tyneside.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey has announced the Litter Innovation Fund, which will offer financial help to assist new ways to tackle a problem that blights many communities.
The money will support new innovations and approaches to tackle littering, from behavioural research for better positioned bins and recycling points so more people throw their rubbish away, to digital technology, including apps and ‘smart-bins’ that can text alerts to rubbish collectors when they are full, stopping nasty litter from spilling out on to our high streets or leading people to litter nearby.
Cleaning up the country’s streets costs the tax payer almost £800million a year and the Litter Innovation Fund will support areas to crack down and reduce littering in our communities by enabling councils, community groups, charities, educational institutions, and small and medium enterprises to apply for funding towards innovative and creative solutions to the problem.
Dr Coffey said: “Tackling the litter that blights streets across our country is an important part of our drive to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. I pay tribute to those who help clear up our pavements and verges.
“The Litter Innovation Fund offers a great opportunity for the most creative solutions to littering to receive funding and for us all to learn new ways of how to stop littering happening.
“Ten per cent of the fund is entirely dedicated to preventing marine litter, a growing problem with global consequences for our precious marine environment.
“I encourage groups to get involved and showcase the wealth of options there are out there to tackle littering.
Coun Moira Smith, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “We welcome any support which will help us to tackle the scourge of littering across the borough. Litter and rubbish on our streets has a negative impact on people’s perceptions of an area, not to mention the detrimental impact it has on the environment.
“Our street cleansing and waste teams work extremely hard to keep South Tyneside clean and tidy and we do a great deal of work to encourage people to support us and take pride in their local area by using the litter bins provided or taking any litter home with them.
“We await further details about how this extra support could benefit the Borough.”
People can report environmental issues via the Council’s Customer Service Centre on (0191) 427 7000, online at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit or by text on 07786 200 802.
Further information about rubbish is available at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling