litter in the street - photo provided by Keep Britain TidyDid you know that everyday approximately 400 bags of litter are collected from the Rochford District by our street scene contractor, SITA UK.

Litter is caused by people and can refer to anything from a crisp packet or cigarette butt to a bag of rubbish. All litter is unsightly and makes our local areas look untidy and uncared for. Litter does not clean itself away. It costs the council £750,000 a year to keep the streets and open spaces clear of litter. It can take years to degrade, causing harm to wildlife. 

Smoking related litter

a photo of cigarette butts on the floorCigarette butts, matches, empty packets and their wrappers are England’s biggest litter problem.

Cigarette butts are unsightly and tend to accumulate around grids and gutters, often falling into small cracks or grates making them difficult to clean up.

Chewing gum

Chewing gum is the most difficult type of litter to deal with. Its stickiness means normal cleaning methods like street sweeping and litter picking do not work.

More extreme methods like jet washing and steam cleaning have to be used to remove it – which is expensive.a foot stepping on chewing gum - provided by Keep Britain Tidy

The average clean up of gum from a town centre costs £20,000 and this has to be carried out a number of times a year.

Litter is rubbish and it’s against the law

Local authorities have a range of powers available to them to help tackle litter problems. Authorised Officers have the power to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice with a charge of £75 for a litter offence, but a fine could rise to £2,500 if a litterer is prosecuted and convicted in court. As well as issuing Fixed Penalty Notices to individuals who drop litter, they can serve notice on other duty bodies, businesses and land owners.