Bolton Council is launching a campaign to highlight to residents the importance of keeping the streets litter free.
The council currently spends £2.8m a year keeping the streets of Bolton clean, and is encouraging individuals to take responsibility for their own waste in a bid to reduce that figure. The campaign has been in launched in response to public demand, as a consultation carried out at area forums showed the majority of the public wanted more education and more enforcement carried out to discourage litter dropping.
As the most common type of litter on Bolton’s streets, cigarette butts will be the target of the first phase of the campaign. Surveys carried out between 2008/9 show 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 integrated campaign was launched today in Victoria Square, with a spectacular piece of 3D art showing a giant cigarette falling into a hole in the ground. Members of the public were invited to have their picture taken with the artwork and some giant cigarettes as a permanent reminder of the campaign’s messages.
To mark the launch, council officers will be handing out portable ashtray pouches, known as stubbies, which people can use to cleanly dispose of their cigarette butts.
The campaign will also include posters, window stickers and cards, all with the simple message “Love Bolton, Hate Litter”.
Council staff will be visiting locations around Bolton throughout November and December, including Farnworth town centre, Moss Bank Park, Bolton market and Royal Bolton Hospital, handing out cards and stubbies and encouraging people to think of the consequences of dropping litter.
Although the first part of the campaign focuses on litter caused by cigarette butts, future phases will begin over the next few months looking at takeaway litter, litter from cars and dog fouling.
The council will work with shops, businesses, schools, and community groups to make sure that all the aspects of the anti-littering campaign lead to a cleaner borough.
While the campaign aims to educate residents of the need for a change in attitude and reduce the amount of litter dropped, the council has a policy of fining anyone caught dropping a cigarette butt up to £75 should the message not get through.
Over the past three years, the council has handed out 223 Fixed Penalty Notices for offences relating to cigarette litter, with 59 people prosecuted in the courts.
Cllr Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, Executive Member for Cleaner, Greener, Safer, said: “Research shows that many people do not think of cigarette butts as litter, but in fact they are the most common form of litter on our streets, with more than a million being dropped across the borough every year.
“This campaign is aimed at changing attitudes and behaviour and encouraging people to take responsibility for their own litter. We hope to educate residents and encourage them to keep Bolton clean and take ownership of their street, their town and their borough.”
Anyone who had their picture taken with the 3D art or the cigarette men can download a copy of their picture from the link above.