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Due to travel restrictions being in place we have noticed that more UK residents are staying in the UK for a staycation this year. Our Managing Director, Guy Cherry, answers some important questions on how the public can get involved with ensuring the UK’s green spaces remain litter free and tidy during the busy summer months.

With COVID-19 delaying holidays abroad we have seen a rise of people going on holiday in the UK, how can the public ensure that shared outdoor spaces remain tidy?

Following the release from lockdown, it has been good to see people getting out and having a good time whilst also supporting the economy. Providing good waste management facilities is important and not least in collective environments where larger groups have been congregating. If adequate provision is made at popular venues, then I have no doubt, people will use them fully and responsibly; equally if the facilities are not in place, take waste items with you and place them in the next available container.

What are some of the biggest challenges faced by local authorities in terms of waste in public spaces in the UK?

Providing adequate facilities is a challenge when you just don’t know how many people will attend a venue; on that basis providing a flexible system that can be scaled to suit the needs of the problem; it’s got to be a lot easier than putting teams out to clear litter after an event.

What are local authorities doing to ensure that littering is being dealt with in the UK?

Difficult to tell; media images would suggest that the process provided does not always meet the needs of the problem; I am sure that will evolve based on the initial issues a number of councils have been faced with.

Who is responsible for enforcing the law regarding litter?

Community Policing plays a part, but let us be frank, it should not take anyone to tell you to dispose of waste in the correct and responsible manner. It falls on every one of us to do the right thing and put waste in the appropriate disposal container. Perhaps also worth considering that if waste were commoditised and waste to energy facilities reduced gate fees, we would not be faced with the challenges of policing responsible waste disposal generally.

What impact does litter have on local communities?

At every level, leaving waste for others to clear up is dreadful; its unsightly, damages and contaminates habitats and creates challenges for councils in terms of resource when having to clear waste up. I am convinced that providing the right level of waste management for people to use will always assist in preventing litter generally.

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