Bolton Council has won national recognition for its anti-littering campaign, ‘Love Bolton, hate Litter’.
The campaign has been nominated for a national Keep Britain Tidy award, which recognises excellence and innovation in improving the local environment.
Bolton has been shortlisted alongside one other council in the Changing Behaviour category of the awards, which take place at the Keep Britain Tidy national conference in Bournemouth on March 14 and 15. Other awards will be given for community, innovation and local environment champion.
Bolton launched the ‘Love Bolton, Hate Litter campaign in November 2009 to raise awareness and educate people in changing their behaviours towards their local environment.
The first phase of the campaign focused on cigarette litter, as surveys carried out between 2008/9 showed that cigarette butts, packets and other smoking materials make up 87 per cent of all Bolton’s street litter, with more than one million cigarettes dropped across the borough every year. The campaign included handing out portable ashtray pouches, known as stubbies, posters, window stickers and cards, all with the simple message “Love Bolton, Hate Litter”.
The second phase of the campaign focused on education and awareness-raising of the problems caused by dog fouling.
Council staff handed out over 7,000 dog bag holders, which people can use to cleanly dispose of their dog waste in any litter bin, as well as branded leaflet holders and leaflets installed in vets surgeries, pet shops and other places which pet owners may visit. The educational arm of the campaign was also supported by enforcement, including dawn to dusk patrols by enforcement officers in problem areas.
A more recent phase of the campaign was the ‘Big Bolton Tidy Up’, launched in September last year to work with community groups and encourage them to help the council by keeping their towns and neighbourhoods clean.
More than 22 community groups and schools across Bolton have registered to take part and more than 240 bags of rubbish have been collected.
The council has provided groups with litter pickers, gloves, branded tabards and bags and helped them to do their bit for their local park, street or school.
Cllr Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Cleaner, Greener, Safer, said: “We’re delighted that this innovative campaign has been shortlisted for a national award. The council is committed to making Bolton a cleaner and greener place to live, but we need the support of everyone to make sure the borough stays that way and that’s what this campaign was about.
This campaign has reached thousands of residents across Bolton through a combination of education and enforcement and we hope has led to a significant change in attitudes and behaviour.
We will continue to work to educate residents about the effects of litter dropping and dog fouling and encourage them to clean up after themselves and show pride in their local area.”