Stoke-on-Trent City Council and National Highways are reminding residents that the city’s roads are not a litter bin after city council teams clear the equivalent of 340 grey bin loads of rubbish each year.
City council teams carry out regular litter picking along the sides of the city’s road network. This is dangerous work, putting staff at risk, which should not be necessary. Teams also sweep and collect litter from stretches of these roads through the night, working within National Highways road closures for repair works. Road closures are expensive, taking money away from important public services, and have an impact on road users and congestion levels.
National Highways Route Manager, David East, said: “Litter is a serious issue. It is unsightly, harms the environment and people are, quite rightly, outraged by it. Cleaning up litter diverts time and money that could be better spent on improving the road network and can also involve lane or road closures which cause disruption for motorists. We work closely with our partners to deal with the issue of litter but this could easily be resolved if people behaved responsibly and took care of their own rubbish rather than throwing it onto the roadside for others to clean up.”
Since the first lockdown there has been a large rise in the amount of litter thrown from cars. Those caught littering from a vehicle can be fined up to £150 and rules allow local authorities to fine the registered keeper where litter is seen being thrown from the vehicle. This means the individual who threw the rubbish no longer needs to be identified.
Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing and environment said: “It is absolutely unacceptable to drop litter anywhere. In Stoke-on-Trent, we are currently experiencing a particular issue with people who throw litter from their vehicles. Litter on the roads and grass verges is unsightly and a danger to wildlife and other road users. Collecting litter on the roads also puts our workers at risk but this would not need to happen if it was not dropped in the first place. The message is clear. Take your rubbish home with you and put it in the bin. There is absolutely no excuse for littering.”