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Littering rises as lockdown eases

Date: 

Saturday, 6 June, 2020

Littering in the borough’s public green spaces has more than doubled over the last couple of weeks. The combination of fine weather and the easing of the lockdown and social distancing measures has prompted increased use of the borough’s green spaces and parks and, sadly, an increase in the amount of littering. 

To cope with the increased demand, the Council’s environmental partner, Serco, is emptying bins daily rather than the previous three times per week, in the majority of parks. Despite their teams increased efforts, they have reported daily issues of litter strewn or dumped across all the borough’s parks and green spaces.

The Council is urging residents to respect these public spaces by using the bins provided, taking their litter home with them, or if they are genuinely unable to do so and the bins are full, bagging the items and leaving them next to the bins.

Cllr Kevin Davis, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environmental Maintenance Contract, said: “I would like to thank residents for adhering to the lockdown restrictions over the past few weeks, helping to protect the NHS and save lives. Now that the restrictions are starting to be lifted and more people are out and about we have seen a huge increase in the littering across our green spaces.

“Our teams are working as hard as they can to keep the borough clean. I would like to encourage people, if they are planning to use our green spaces, to do so safely and to play their part by helping our bin crews keep our parks clean and tidy. Wildlife can also die from litter and we all have a responsibility to look after the planet and protect wildlife. It’s simple, bin it or take your litter home if you cannot dispose of it correctly.

“Another issue which we have faced is the use of BBQs in public parks and green spaces. This is forbidden as they can cause dangerous fires very quickly, especially in such dry conditions, and put our already stretched blue light services under further pressure.”

It is an offence to drop litter and anyone caught littering can receive a Fixed Penalty Notice fine. The offence carries an on the spot £100 penalty. Littering can be reported online at www.woking.gov.uk/environmental-services/environmental-problems/rubbish-and-litter/street-cleaning-and-litter