The launch of Wiltshire Council’s county-wide litter campaign was celebrated with a photocall at County Hall in front of the #CleanUpWilts branded plinth.
The campaign, aims to reduce the £2.5million bill taxpayers currently pay to clean up litter thrown by people in Wiltshire, is now well under way, with residents urged to play their part in keeping our beautiful county clean.
The first phase of #CleanUpWilts, sponsored by Landmarc Support Services (Landmarc), aims to tackle fly-tipping throughout the county by raising awareness of the penalties and consequences dumping waste.
The maximum penalties for fly-tipping are a £50,000 fine and/or 12 months imprisonment, and on conviction in a Crown Court an unlimited fine and/or five years imprisonment. In addition, Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for small scale fly-tipping can also be issued (£400).
Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for highways, transport and waste, said: “It is very disappointing that people feel it is acceptable to discard litter in Wiltshire.
“We spend £2.5 million on clearing up our beautiful landscape and this is a totally avoidable cost. This is money that could be better spent on vital frontline services.
“I am so pleased that local businesses are supporting this campaign, which aims to raise awareness of this totally unacceptable behaviour and provide a practical solution with the bag for life for people to keep in their vehicle.
“If we all do our bit and take our litter home and not throw it out of vehicles, we will help to keep Wiltshire beautiful, protect the wildlife, and be in a position to allocate the current budget on other key services.”
Fly-tipping is the first phase of the campaign; the second phase, to start in February 2018, will focus on fast food, on-the-go littering, and the provision of sponsored bags for life to help drivers take their litter home with them. The third phase, which will begin in March 2018, will encourage community litter picks and clean-up of local litter hot spots.
Commenting on Landmarc’s support for the campaign, Steve Utley, managing director of Landmarc, said: “As part of our role to support the MOD Defence training estate, we manage huge areas of some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes, which includes Salisbury Plain.
“The Plain is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and it is our duty to protect and preserve it for generations to come, but over recent years, we have been facing a significant challenge with fly-tipping. This is not only an eye-sore and environmentally-damaging, but cost the taxpayer more than £29,000 last year alone.
“That’s why we’re delighted to get involved with the #CleanUpWilts campaign, helping to raise awareness of this important issue and work in partnership with our local communities to help maintain and enhance our natural habitats for everyone to enjoy.”
The campaign is currently supported by Landmarc, Spire FM, McDonald’s and MJ Church. For more information on sponsorship opportunities to support this countywide campaign, please email email@example.com.
Find out more about #CleanUpWilts here http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/cleanupwilts