Manchester City Council’s mission to keep the city clean has led to a staggering rise in the number of litterbugs being hit with fines – more fines were collected last year than in the previous four put together.
The council’s crackdown on littering led to £59,690 being collected as a result of city centre fines last year, up from just £2,000 in the previous year.
As part of a new drive to discourage littering across Manchester, 1,327 Fixed Penalty Notices were issued to individuals in the period 2014/2015 for city centre offences.
This number is nearly 40 times larger than the amount of fines that were issued the year before, which was just 35.
MM spoke to Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, on the effectiveness of the scheme.
He said: “While litterbugs are in the minority, sadly there are still some selfish individuals whose behaviour is a blight on the city centre.
“The amount of on-the-spot fines we’ve issued to litter louts demonstrates that we take this behaviour very seriously.
“This should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to drop their litter onto the street.”
In total 1,587 fines were issued across the city last year, a number that completely eclipses the amount issued in previous years.
The council has installed 700 new litter bins, including 40 recycling bins, since the scheme began in November 2014.
And officers now have the power to hand out on-the-spot fines to those caught dropping litter.
Market Street, High Street and Piccadilly Gardens have proven to be littering hotspots, with the majority of city centre offences taking place in these areas.
Damian Cross, spokesperson for Manchester Friends Of The Earth, told MM: “It’s encouraging to see Manchester City Council take this issue seriously and provide extra bins to help people recycle or dispose of their litter properly.
“Litter isn’t just unsightly and wastes our council tax through having it cleaned up and disposed of.
“Lots of it can actually be recycled, which would help reduce the amount of resources we consume.
“By taking the trouble to dispose of our waste properly, we can help ensure our council tax is spent on something more worthwhile as well as minimising our impact on the world’s resources.”
Image courtesy of Jannis Andrija Schnitzer, with thanks.