Council bosses looking to introduce tough new measures to crack down on litter louts may not be able to depend on the kind of public co-operation they are looking for.
South Tyneside Council could be making more use of on the spot fines, cctv cameras and a special “snitching’ mobile phone app to reduce the borough’s £2million annual clean-up bill.
There are also plans to make sure culprits are named and shamed and make more information available to residents to make sure they know how expensive and dangerous fly-tipping and litter can be.
Some Gazette readers, however, believe the council has contributed to its own problems.
They used The Gazette’s Facebook page to air their views.
Steve Smith wrote: “Why don’t they bring back weekly bin collections. It’s getting more and more evident that fortnightly collections are not working.
“The council supposedly checked the bins before introducing the fortnightly collections, saying that the majority of them were only half full or empty when they were doing the weekly collections.”
Liz Anderson added: “Maybe if the streets were cleaned more often and the council followed through to catch people who litter and let their dogs foul everywhere it might give people the push to report people who do this sort of thing.
“If people put an extra bag out the bin men should take it.”
Members of the council’s Place Select Committee will be meeting at Jarrow Town Hall next week to discuss the new measures following an in-depth investigation into the borough’s littering problem.
Committee chairwoman Coun Audrey McMillan said: “The problem of litter and fly-tipping is clear to see but much harder to tackle.
“The cost to the council of dealing with litter and fly tipping is around £2million a year and I’m sure that, in these financially challenging times, people can think of far better ways of using this money.
“Littering and fly tipping is irresponsible, illegal and can be hazardous – both to people and wildlife.
“We recognise how these issues blight our borough and are determined to address this head-on.”
“We may also want to consider providing more information for people to try to raise awareness of the damage this type of activity causes.”
Among the items councillors will be asked to consider is a ‘no tolerance’ approach with a more proactive use of fixed penalties.
A Fixed Penalty Notice can range between £40 to £80. They are issued when it’s not cost effective to prosecute in a magistrates’ court.