The Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Michael Savage has got behind a public awareness campaign to tackle the issue of littering and raise awareness of ‘Your Waste, Your Responsibility’.
While litter may be seen as a low-level environmental crime its impact on our district can be serious. Litter can be anything that is dropped, thrown, left or deposited that causes defacement in a public place such as cigarette ends, packaging, cans and bottles.
The public awareness campaign was developed in partnership with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, which is an independent charity dedicated to creating a cleaner, greener and more sustainable local environment. The Live Here Love Here ‘This is a Disgrace’ campaign features a strong anti-littering message and is being implemented to proactively support the Council’s Enforcement Improvement Plan.
Through partnership working and strong messaging across a range of media channels such as social media and PR, this campaign aims to build strong relationships with residents specifically around discarding their waste responsibly. The puppet character delivers memorable messages in relation to ‘littering and fixed penalties’ and appeals to all age ranges, raising awareness and driving the behaviour change we all need in our communities.
Results from a Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful litter composition analysis completed in 2019, estimate that there are 1.3 million items of litter on our streets at any one time in Northern Ireland, and the survey indicated from a cross section data analysed that for every item binned, three items were littered.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said, “Litter is an eyesore across our district, but it doesn’t end there. Littering is illegal and costs thousands of pounds each year to clear.”
“On top of this, it is harmful to our wildlife and makes our roadsides and pavements unsightly for all those living in or driving through the district.”
“We want to encourage people to get involved in keeping areas clean to show how much they care for their parks and green spaces and so it’s great that we’ve been able to link up with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful to raise public awareness.”
The litter awareness campaign will also be emphasising that it is an offence to drop and leave litter in any open or public space and highlight the ability for the Council’s Enforcement Teams to issue fixed penalty fines, up to £80, or pursue court proceedings, to those individuals who are found guilty of litter offences.
Public Notices relating to littering will also be displayed prominently across the district to ensure that Enforcement message is clear.
For further information on littering, fly-tipping and how to report issues, please visit www.newrymournedown.org/fly-tipping-and-littering.