‘Bin it or take it home’: That was the message from Aylesbury Vale District Council at an anti-littering drive.
The display showing a day’s worth of town centre litter was exhibited last week in Market Square to coincide with Clean for the Queen, an ongoing initiative to tidy up Britain ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday.
The council spends £350,000 each year picking up dropped litter from streets, main roads, parks and open spaces around Aylesbury Vale.
The cost for cleaning Aylesbury town centre amounts to £739 every day, most of which is related to litter collection.
Jackie Robain, senior community spaces officer said: “Facts and figures are one thing, but until you see the issue displayed in front of you it’s hard to fully appreciate the scale of the problem.
“This display was all about spreading awareness that dropping litter, no matter how small the item, will soon build up to cause a big problem.
“Please, bin it or take it home!”
Sir Beville Stanier, cabinet member for environment and waste said: “A substantial part of our budget has to be set aside each year to clean up litter as it’s not only an eyesore but can also become a real health hazard.
“We’d much prefer to spend this money improving services and facilities for residents, rather than having to pay for expensive and preventable clean-up operations.
“The problem is made yet more acute as our budget is under ever increasing pressure with our funding from central government soon due to disappear all together.”
He added: “We arranged the date of the displays to coincide with the main weekend of the national anti-litter campaign, Clean for the Queen.
“This campaign aims to clean up the country ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday, and by coinciding the two events we hoped to maximise the anti-litter message.
There were various local groups which took part in Clean for the Queen throughout Aylesbury Vale and I’d like to thank them for the fantastic effort they put in to make our communities a cleaner and more pleasant place to live.”
Several parish and town councils, businesses and community groups have already taken part in or are currently planning their own community litter pick events. By prior arrangement the district council will collect any bags filled by volunteer litter picks.