A call has gone out to residents to deal with their own litter responsibly after Bath & North East Somerset Council has seen a huge increase in the amount of rubbish left in open spaces as lockdown restrictions ease.
The council’s waste team reports a number of issues with bins overflowing and litter being left in parks, leading to staff and volunteers having to devote extra time to clean up after the public.
In Saltford, the council and community volunteer group Keynsham Wombles are dealing with up to 30 more bags of litter per day than usual and a new litter bin has been installed.
The council is also reminding people that council public toilets are open as normal, except those within the locked playground at Royal Victoria Park. Temporary facilities at the Shallows in Saltford have been installed after the permanent toilets closed due to a collapsed drain.
Councillor David Wood, cabinet member for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services, said: “As lockdown restrictions eased during the good weather and people have been able to enjoy open spaces again, many of us have been shocked by scenes of excessive littering in our neighbourhoods. Litter doesn’t clean itself away. It can take years to degrade, causing harm to wildlife and habitats. Even if there is a bin nearby but it’s full, it’s still unacceptable to leave your litter next to it on the ground.
“Such irresponsible actions by a small number of people has led to our waste team working even harder than usual at an already challenging time. We only have a finite resource so we couldn’t clear the rubbish without the support of excellent community volunteers including Keynsham Wombles, for which we are very grateful. Thank you to everyone who has acted with care by disposing of their litter properly or by taking it home with them. I urge all residents to follow suit.”
More information about how the council handles littering and enforcement can be found here https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/streets-and-highway-maintenance/litter-street-care-and-cleaning
A list of the council’s public toilet facilities is at https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/tourism-and-heritage/toilets
Find out more about Keynsham Wombles at https://www.facebook.com/KeynshamWombles/