Antrim and Newtownabbey ratepayers picking up £2m litter lout-generated bill
Litter louts in Antrim and Newtownabbey cost ratepayers £2m annually, according to a report presented to Antrim and Newtownabbey’s Operations Committee on Monday evening.
Councillors have also been told that of all litter dumped despite the provision of 1,500 bins across the borough, a “significant proportion”is plastic.
In its response to a consultation from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) which is devising a plan to to eliminate plastic pollution in Northern Ireland, the local authority has suggested the introduction of charges for single use plastic items with an exemption for recyclable or compostable items.
The council has also indicated that a transition from “conventional to reusable” plastic bags should be encouraged.
The borough council has reported previously that it receives the most complaints about dog fouling, fast food/beverage litter from pedestrians and vehicles, fly-tipping and cigarette litter.
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s annual Cleaner Neighbourhoods Report stated that 94 fixed penalties were issued by the local authority for littering and eight for dog fouling in the borough during 2018/19.
The cost of a fixed penalty for littering or dog fouling is £80 rising to a fine of up to £1,000 if prosecuted.
The council’s Operations Committee has already 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.
Litter louts and dog owners who allow their pets to foul streets and parks in Antrim and Newtownabbey can be identified through an arrangement with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVA). A contract exists between the local authority and the DVA to assist with the enforcement of legislation such as littering and dog fouling.
This is aided through identification of the registered owner of a vehicle, if an offender is witnessed returning to a car, for example.
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
Click here to read: 1,500 waste bins but littering remains a ‘challenge’ in Antrim and Newtownabbey
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