Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough litter louts costing each ratepayer almost £40

Litter louts in Antrim and Newtownabbey cost each ratepayer £37 for street cleaning, according to Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 5:40 pm

In its annual Cleaner Neighbourhoods Report, the environmental organisation stated that 94 fixed penalties were issued by the local authority for littering and eight for dog fouling in the borough during 2018/19.

By comparison, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council issued 162 fines for littering and three for dog fouling.

Causeway Coast and Glens issued 12 fixed penalties for littering and eight for dog fouling. Street cleansing in this council area cost £47 per person.

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The average cleansing spend by local authorities in Northern Ireland is £42 per person.

Last month, Antrim and Newtowanbbey’s Operations Committee agreed to draw up a litter action plan for the borough to address alll types of on-street litter including dog fouling, cigarette butts, fast food waste, beverage cups and fly-tipping.

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has recommended that councils in Northern Ireland need a litter strategy which should include education, enforcement and public engagement.

In September, Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors will discuss at a workshop the findings of a recent cleanliness survey.

The Operations Committee will consider at a meeting on Monday evening the council’s response to a draft consultation by DAERA on a deposit return scheme for “empties”.

Councillors have been told that the Scottish Government has already approved the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme in July 2022. It will require consumers to pay a 20 pence deposit on each glass, can or plastic container purchased to be reimbursed when the empty container is returned.

Consumers must pay a deposit and must return the container to redeem the monetary value.

A council officer’s report to the committee says: “A Deposit Return Scheme has the potential to significantly reduce the materials collected through kerbside recycling services with the residents utilising return vending machines to redeem their deposit.”

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful says that a Deposit Return Scheme would “incentivise people to not just throw away their items as they would have a monetary value attached to them.

“Deposit Return Schemes would also greatly reduce the number of plastic items reaching our seas”.

Meanwhile, Antrim and Newtownabbey council officers have been working in partnership with fast food giant McDonalds, to help tackle what they describe as “the problem of takeaway litter across the borough”.

Three litter-picks have been arranged in parks and on paths near McDonalds

restaurants in the borough later this month at Hazelbank Park, in Whiteabbey, Lilian Bland Park, Glengormley and Ballymena North Road in Antrim.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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Click here to read: 1,500 waste bins but littering remains a ‘challenge’ in Antrim and Newtownabbey

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