Private enforcement firm being looked at in Antrim and Newtownabbey litter fight

Bringing in a private enforcement company to keep littering under control is among proposals being considered by Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors to clean up the borough’s streets.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:44 pm

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

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.

Dedicated street litter/dog fouling teams are also among options to be considered by the local authority.

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Litter (stock image).

Neighbouring Mid and East Antrim Borough Council turned to a private enforcement company to tackle littering and dog fouling earlier this year.

Since enforcement company Wise was engaged in April, 2,046 fixed penalty notices have been issued.

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

Before the company was appointed, Mid and East Antrim Councillor Maureen Morrow informed colleagues she had been told by a Scottish counterpart of the mother of a child who dropped a toy from a pram and was given a £100 fine for littering and a pensioner who accidentally dropped a tissue from a pocket was also fined £100.

Antrim and Newtowanbbey’s Operations Committee has agreed to draw up a litter action plan for the borough to address all 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.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Mayor Councillor Billy Webb has said previously: “More than £2m is spent every year keeping our streets across the borough clean and we are continuously pro-active in trying to reduce the impact of litter, but it still continues to be a challenge. ”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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Click here to read: Antrim and Newtownabbey ratepayers picking up £2m litter lout-generated bill

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