'Take your litter home' - council says it is impossible to keep up with overflowing bins in Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth
“Regardless of the number of bins and how frequently they are emptied, people still drop litter and bins fill instantly"
Overflowing public bins have prompted Warwick District Council officers to urge people to take their rubbish home with them.
Figures show that more than £1.5m is spent by the authority each year on keeping the streets and public places clean but cost-cutting has seen a reduction in services.
In an email circulated to councillors, head of neighbourhood services Julie Lewis explained that it was a national problem.
She said: “During the pandemic we have seen a lot more people out and about getting their daily exercise. The unfortunate result of this has been a large increase in the litter left behind. This is a nationwide issue as is the increase in fly-tipping.
“Regardless of the number of bins and how frequently they are emptied, people still drop litter and bins fill instantly. The emptying of bins is expensive and we do not have unlimited resources.
“Some cuts were made in the new street cleansing contract such as removal of barrowmen and one less crew for fly-tipping removal as we had to reduce the contract costs due to our financial situation. But ultimately it is about people behaving responsibly.
“Current issues exist with litter being left on/by many WDC bins that are already full – again a national issue. All our campaigns ask people to take their rubbish home. Quite often it is because bins have been filled with household waste or fly-tipping first.”
Her email went on to explain that one area of concern was Christ Church Gardens at the top of The Parade, in Leamington, which had seen an increase in footfall due to the temporary bus stops.
She added: “Idverde are working with contract services to review efficiencies in locations/frequencies of visits to empty litter bins. Additional bin installations and visits will cost money not built into the contract costs.
“A litter strategy is being written with Stratford District Council with the emphasis on prevention. This includes a communications plan and things such as tackling fly-tipping and overflowing bins/litter.
“More ‘Don’t be a Tosser’ posters are being put up across parks - these are generally well received - in addition to other communications activities including sharing with residents the cost to households for this service.”
Warwick District Council introduced a ‘Don’t be a Tosser’ litter campaign last year to remind residents that leaving litter is not acceptable and they have a responsibility to dispose of their waste properly by using an on street litter bin or taking the rubbish home with them.
The best way to report a street cleaning or litter bin issue is by using the online form at https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/reportstreetcleaninglitterbin