Take your rubbish home plea

If the bin is full, please take your litter home.

That is the message from Canterbury City Council as part of its Love Where We Live campaign which is dedicated to reducing the amount of litter which can blight our city, our coast and our countryside.

Litter costs the council taxpayer thousands of pounds every year to clear up and litter picking community groups hours and hours of gruelling and, frankly, sometimes disheartening work.

Cllr Neil Baker, Chairman of the council’s Community Committee, said: “At this time of year our parks, open spaces and beaches are packed with people having a great time.

“And when they go home having had a picnic, a barbecue or fish and chips, the vast majority of people do the right thing and act responsibly.

“They put their rubbish in the bin or take it home with them if the bins are full.

“If you leave your rubbish next to a bin it probably feels like you are helping us out.

“But it will soon start blowing around or be attacked by animals and what was a considerate act soon has the same effect as the lazy litterbug who could not be bothered in the first place.”

When we catch those who can’t be bothered in the act, we will issue them with a £150 fine.

That includes the registered keeper of a vehicle when litter is spotted being thrown out of its windows. CCTV footage can now be used to capture those offenders red handed.

We have issued 1,592 fixed penalty notices for littering from April 2017 to March 2018.

Cllr Baker said: “No one likes a dumper and we will pursue people all the way to court.

“Earlier, this year four people were ordered to pay £242 each by magistrates for littering.”

Meanwhile, there is an army of people who, with litter pickers and hoops in hand, are far from lazy.

They are the community groups dedicated to keeping the district spick and span.

Cllr Baker said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to a group of people who Love Where We Live and whose actions speak far louder than words.

“They should not have to brave all weathers to clear up someone else’s mess.”