In September, our Clean, Safe and Green team cleared 4.5 tonnes of rubbish from the A41 in a nine-day clean-up project.
Six months ago, the team cleared four tonnes of litter in a clean-up operation on the same stretch of road. Despite the fact that lockdown occurred during this six-month period, and many people have been working from home, the amount of litter collected has increased.
Clearing litter on such a high-speed road requires sufficient traffic management to ensure the safety of the team. On this occasion, our Clean, Safe and Green crew teamed up with Hertfordshire County Council who were cutting the grass at the same time. This reduced the costs of traffic management. However, the clean-up still cost nearly £16,000.
Despite the anti-littering signs that can be seen on the A41 and its slip roads, people continue to litter from their cars, meaning we need to continue these large-scale, costly clean-ups. It costs UK tax payers approximately £1 billion every year cleaning up after people on the country’s roads.
Apart from the time and costs involved in clearing up, littering is of course illegal. Local authorities can fine the registered owner of a vehicle £100 if someone is seen tossing rubbish out of the vehicle, regardless of who threw it.
Councillor Alan Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment Services, said: “I would like to personally thank the Clean, Safe and Green team for the fantastic job they do every day, and especially on this occasion on this particularly dangerous stretch of road. While it is heartening to see their dedication, it’s a job that shouldn’t need doing. Littering is illegal, damages the environment and jeopardises wildlife. I would urge people to keep litter in their cars until they get home and can dispose of it correctly. We have put up signs on the slip roads to say how much the litter picking costs the taxpayer, and if the littering continues, we will have to consider taking enforcement measures.”
Among the items collected by the team of 15 litter-pickers, particularly in the laybys, were disposable face coverings and gloves. Please do not put the environment and other people in danger by littering PPE. These must be disposed of in your non-recyclable bin at home or a litter bin if you’re outside.
As well as the costs and blighting the borough, litter is a severe hazard to wildlife, injuring or killing thousands of animals and birds every year. We all need to do our bit to protect where we live, the countryside and wildlife and one very simple way we can all make a difference is to take our litter home with us.
For more information, including how to report someone you see discarding litter, please visit our Litter page.
To check which items can be recycled, visit our Which bin do I use? page.