Sunday, January 24, 2016

Council considers 'litter awareness' courses for litterbugs

People who drop rubbish in Manchester may soon be sent on a ‘litter awareness’ course or sent out to pick up litter. Currently the punishment is a £80 on-the-spot fine. But council bosses now want to try a new tactic to clean up the city. It’s understood they have taken the inspiration from Glasgow where litter louts are given the option of ‘fine or time’.

If they opt for time they are sent out in groups for three hours to pick up litter. Council bosses are also looking at whether to introduce a ‘litter awareness course’ - along the lines of those attended by speeding drivers. Councillor Nigel Murphy, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, said: “We have already introduced a special team to crack down on litter in the city centre to send out a clear message that dropping litter is not acceptable in Manchester.

“Following this, we’re looking into ideas which could have a long term impact on people’s attitudes and behaviour, including offering those spotted dropping items such as crisp packets, cigarettes, or sandwich wrappers to special ‘litter awareness course’ - similar to speed awareness courses offered to motorists - to make them understand why they shouldn’t drop litter.” The Glasgow scheme where people can opt to go out and collect rubbish has been in place since 2012.

Although according to figures from last year, not many people choose that over a fine. By September only 256 of 20,000 litterbugs had opted for that over paying the cash. Meanwhile last May Bradford council introduced litter awareness courses as an alternative to paying a fine. Manchester council sources said the plan is in its early stages, with both options currently on the table.

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