Dacorum has launched a new road-side anti-litter campaign, aimed at the ‘tossers’ who chuck their rubbish out of car windows.
Last April a new law came into effect enabling local authorities to fine the registered owner of a vehicle up to £150 if rubbish is seen being thrown out of their vehicle – regardless of whether it was them who threw it.
However, 33% of people do not know that drivers will be fined if they or their passengers are caught littering. The new campaign aims to help spread awareness of the fine, along with a hard-hitting message to the ‘tossers’ who are treating our roads, towns and countryside like one giant litter bin.
The Council’s ‘Clean, Safe and Green’ team recently completed a clear-up operation of the A41 where they cleared over 5 tonnes of rubbish.
20 diligent crew members picked up litter and fly-tipping from slip roads, junctions and grass verges along over 18km of the A41 – stretching from the King’s Langley M25 Roundabout to Cow Roast, near Tring.
This particular seven day clear-up of the A41 cost over £25,000 due to the need for lane closures to carry out the work needed. Approximately £1 billion of tax payers’ money is spent in the UK every year cleaning up after thoughtless ‘tossers’.
Litter is not just unsightly and expensive, it kills millions of mammals every year too. Research has shown that more than 8% of littered bottles and nearly 5% of drinks cans found on roadsides contain dead animals. Litter is killing rare and valuable species such as shrews, bank voles and wood mice, which are a vital food source for larger animals, especially birds of prey.
Larger animals are also harmed by litter – the RSPCA deals with an animal killed or injured by litter every two hours.
Group Manager for Environmental Services, Craig Thorpe said: ‘Tossing coffee cups, plastic bottles and fast-food packaging out of car windows is doing damage to our environment and our wildlife. We need to get the message out there that this is socially unacceptable and, regardless of who throws the rubbish, if it comes out of your vehicle you are responsible.
‘It is time for everyone to take responsibility for their rubbish. If you care about our country and its wildlife, keep your rubbish in your car and put it in a bin when you can. Better still, recycle it when you get home.’
For more information on litter, including how to report it if you catch someone in the act, please visit www.dacorum.gov.uk/litter.