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Street Cleaning in Coatbridge A man in Coatbridge, Glasgow has become so fed up with the litter in his area he has taken on the responsibility of cleaning the streets himself.

John Agnew, 63 said he is tired of the liter in his area, especially on Gartsherrie Road where there is busy shops and a primary school.

“I moved to my home in Frederick Street 15 years ago and this problem with litter has existed ever since.

“Every single day you see the area outside the shops on Gartsherrie Road covered in litter.

“And it’s not for the want of trying by the shop owners as they put bins there.

Mr Agnew is in no doubt about where the liter problem stems from and believes the pupils are fully responsible,

“But the school pupils just ignore them and during lunchtimes it’s like a bomb site as they just throw their rubbish everywhere; they are making a mess of the area.

“Their disgusting habit has continued despite police passing by and community wardens walking through the area — nothing seems to be able to curb it.

“It’s so bad I have even cleaned it up myself, along with my partner’s grandson, or lifted rubbish and took it home to put in the bin.

“But I shouldn’t have to take these steps and the council could save some money on clean-up operations and road sweeping vehicles by going and educating these kids better on littering.

“Why not try and have the schools encourage or educate the younger members of the community on the environmental benefits of taking home rubbish or using the appropriate bins where provided?

“These pupils should also realise the cost implications of their willingness to pollute the area.”

Earlier this year, a charity step up to help deal with litter and waste around Scotland said the problem is costing the country £100m every year.

Chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, Derek Robertson said,

“There’s a cost to the environment generally – and in terms of how Scotland might appear to visitors.

“I would imagine it must be in the region of £100m.

“Money is being spent on cleaning up the country when in fact it could be much better spent elsewhere.”

Cleaning streets isn’t something most people are willing to take responsibility for, with the majority likely to argue that is what council tax is for.

However Mr Agnew has clearly seen the issue are something which needs addressing quickly and is unwilling to wait for it to be sorted by the council.

Mark Findlay, environmental protection manager for North Lanarkshire Council said they are working closely with the school to resolve the problem.

“We have delivered education programmes, including a DVD targeted at secondary school age pupils, to make them aware of the consequences of dropping litter and encourage them to be responsible citizens.

“We have also carried out joint patrols with community police officers and letters were sent to the parents of any pupils caught dropping litter.

“We appreciate the distress that litter causes to local residents and our street cleaning teams carry out litter picks immediately after lunchtime.


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Government to tackle Scottish LitterThe Scottish Government have announced plans to tackle the country’s £78 million litter problem and keep streets clean.

Research found the cost of dealing litter across Scotland reached nearly £80m per year between £53m spending cleaning it up and £25m spent on it’s external affects.

The draft by the government has been named “Towards a Litter Free Scotland” and it could mean fines for littering or fly tipping are increased.

Under current plans the government aims to,

  • Increase communication, education and support for business
  • Providing/servicing bins, product design, guidance and future funding
  • Improve the effectiveness of legislation and training

The plans were discussed at a national litter submit in Edinburgh where Environment Secretary Mr Richard Lochhead said,

“Scotland really is a beautiful country and in this Year of Natural Scotland we want to do all that we can to show it at its best. Let’s not miss this huge opportunity to show the Scotland’s magnificence.

“I want our National Litter Strategy to achieve a clean, safe environment for people who live in and visit Scotland – where littering is no longer acceptable. The strategy we consult on will be a package of measures to encourage people not to litter or flytip. Today’s attendees will help shape our proposals which will also include how education and infrastructure can support clean, safe communities.

“Litter costs local authorities, transport providers and other businesses millions to clean up – and we all pay for it. We can each take personal responsibility for disposing of waste responsibly and avoid this unnecessary and expensive eyesore.

“I encourage councils and the police to use their existing powers to issue litter and flytipping FPNs and I will consult on whether it would be helpful if the level was raised from £50. Over the next few months we will work with local authorities and others to identify what the consultation should propose.”

The Scottish government also wants to tackle marine litter which costs £16m per year but also threatens Scotland’s wifelife and coastlines.

Plans to deal with marine litter include introducing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which was created by the European Commission.

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