Posts tagged tidybs5

No ifs, no butts

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On 21st January, Clean Up Britain launched the most comprehensive anti-cigarette litter campaign with a pilot in Bristol. Clean Up Britain eventually hopes to extend the pilot campaign to the rest of the country.

Image courtesy of Clean Up Britain Campaign

Background

Anti-cigarette butt littering publicity from Clean Up BritainCigarette butts are the most littered item on the planet. Even in Britain some 27 billion cigarette butts littered in Britain every year. These dropped dog ends allow toxic contaminants to seep into the environment causing significant environmental pollution to watercourses and soil. Moreover, there are now three million e-cigarette users (aka vapers. Ed.) in Britain and e-cigarette waste is also very serious since it produces plastic, nicotine salts, heavy metals, lead, mercury and flammable lithium batteries, again endangering the soil, wildlife and watercourses.

Clean Up Britain states it will be providing a comprehensive programme of behavioural change interventions in Bristol aimed at reducing cigarette butt littering at its source, by encouraging adult smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts properly. This will include various campaign publicity messages aimed at deterring the casual disposal of smoking waste.

How well or even whether this programme will work remains to be seen. Your ‘umble scribe will watch developments with interest.

Enforcement Bristol City Council style

Bristol has one of the highest council tax charges in the country.

Furthermore, it also provides tenth-rate services for that money.

Just how ineffective can be examined by looking at one particular so-called ‘service‘: enforcement against fly-tippers and the like.

In the penultimate of a regular series of meetings about cleanliness in Easton and Lawrence Hill wards, BCC’s head of enforcement just happened to mention he’d noticed an ‘issue‘ with fly-tipping in the Chaplin Road area.

Other local residents and your ‘umble scribe have only been reporting a problem in this area for some 10 and a half years, so there’s a clue as to how long it takes our apology for a local authority to notice something is wrong that doesn’t involve chasing non-payment of council tax or the issuing of bus passes (the only 2 council activities that seem to occur on an anything resembling an acceptable timescale. Ed.)

<I seem to recall the head of enforcement suggesting some remedial action needed taking.

That remedial action has now been implemented and is illustrated in the following photograph.

BCC A5 no fly-tipping sign

That’s right! The remedial measures seem to have consisted of sending a bloke out with an A5 corrugated plastic sign and cable ties and attaching it to a local resident’s railings at the junction of Chaplin Road and Normanby Road. Out of politeness, your correspondent shall refrain from asking whether the council gained the consent of the occupier/owner before affixing its notice.

This is the enforcement equivalent of a chocolate teapot, as can be seen by today’s photo of the same site.

Cardboard and other items in front of no fly-tipping sign

Clean streets campaigners are becoming increasingly fed up with inaction from the city council, particularly as it recently recruited several additional enforcement officers (posts passim).

With those additional enforcement officers and the lashings of cash provided by the public, I and other campaigners want more from the council.

So, come on BCC! Surely you can afford to have those nice, new enforcement officers deployed to stake out ‘grot spots‘ around the city outside office hours to catch offenders red-handed?

Meet Tokyo’s litter samurai

In Tokyo there’s a special team of you men and women who help keep the streets clean with some elegant and graceful moves they perform whilst dressed in traditional Japanese robes and Western trilby hats.

Known as Gomihiroi Samurai (“litter-picking Samurai”), these environmentally conscious individuals have a unique approach to clean streets, as can be seen below.

The group have gained popularity on social media site TikTok, where they have gained over 300,000 followers, as well as on InstagramFacebook and YouTube.

They’re all street performers and one of them, Naka Keisuke, told France 24 that the group thought they’d like to welcome visitors from around the world to a clean city when it was announced that Tokyo had been chosen for the last Olympic Games.

Given Bristol’s love for street performers, they’d go down a storm in the litter capital of the West Country… if they weren’t worn out by the sheer amount of filth.

Free online waste & recycling webinars

Bristol Waste is organising a series of monthly webinars dealing with all you wanted to know about waste, reuse and recycling in Bristol but were afraid to ask!

Visiting Bristol Waste

Image courtesy of Bristol Waste

People can sign up to learn from experts about what happens to their waste and recycling once it is put out for collection.

Since lockdown Bristol Waste has been running these very popular online sessions so as to give residents the chance to ask questions, dispel any myths and find out how to be recycling and waste superstars!

Every other month, there’s a general Q&A session, where people can ask about anything waste related, alternating with a specially themed webinar concentrating on a specific topic.

There is a special recycling event planned for Recycle Week and people can also sign up for a ‘festive special’ to learn how to be more sustainable over the holiday season.

Follow this link to find out more.

The next Q&A session takes place on Wednesday, 18th August between 6.30 and 7.30 pm. Sign up via Eventbrite.

Illiteracy or bloody-mindedness?

It’s now 10 years since TidyBS5 was inaugurated by local residents with the support of local ward councillors to campaign for a more pleasant street scene in the Bristol council wards of Easton and Lawrence Hill.

During all that time, both residents and councillors has persistently call on Bristol City Council to increase both the presence and visibility of enforcement action, but our efforts have only been rewarded in the last couple of years with higher fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for environmental crimes in 2019 and the recent recruiting of more enforcement officers (posts passim).

Largely as a result of the actions of local residents raising awareness of environmental blight, the streets of Lawrence Hill and Easton are now marginally freer of fly-tipping than they were then, but problems still persist, not helped by the lower footfall due to lockdown and the amount of DIY and building works being undertaken.

This was spotted at the junction of Walton Street and Chaplin Road.

Photo shows fly-tipping beneath sign advising no fly-tipping, CCTV in operation

Is this an example of illiteracy or bloody-mindedness? Kindly give your answers in the comments.

New alternative to binning soft plastic

Tesco logoThe BBC reports that Tesco is to introduce collection points for soft plastic packaging such as crisp packets, pet food pouches and bread bags at its stores in England and Wales.

This follows a successful trial in 2018 at 10 stores.

The roll-out will start with facilities being installed in 171 stores in south-west England and Wales.

Tesco is hoping to collect 1,000 tonnes of soft plastic a year and customers may return packaging from other retailers as well as its own packaging provided all packaging presented for collection is clean.

Soft plastic is notoriously hard to recycle and most currently ends up going to landfill or being incinerated.

Given Bristol’s wide range recycling collections, this type of plastic makes up the majority of my residual waste collected by the refuse lorry.

With this move, Tesco is finally living up to its “Every little helps” motto.

Going, going…

Here’s a wee update on the bike I reported on Lawrence Hill (posts passim).

Since reporting, a member of Bristol Waste staff has been out and affixed a removal notice to the bike, giving the owner – if any – a fixed period, in this case 21 days (3 weeks), in which to recover their property before it is removed.

Abandoned bike on Lawrence Hill with Bristol Waste removal notice attached

Abandoned bike with removal notice attached to its top tube

I trust when it is removed, the 2 redundant D-locks also affixed to the stand are likewise removed at the same time. 😀

 

More enforcement officers for Bristol

In the middle of the week, Bristol City Council held its annual budget setting meeting.

As usual, it was riven with the traditional partisan ill feeling and rancour, as well as a rift over council housing rent increases within the ruling Labour group.

However, there was one glimmer of hope amongst the gloom. As a result of an amendment put forward by a group of Labour councillors, the council will be funding more enforcement officers to tackle the city’s seemingly insuperable environmental crime problems.

As Bristol Live reported:

Later in the meeting, the original budget, with a Labour amendment for seven additional litter and fly-tipping enforcement officers, passed by just one vote 33-32.

Seven additional officers is a substantial increase in the complement of the enforcement team and one would hope that these additional resources will make a significant contribution to reducing levels of environmental crime within the city, as well as an increase in the woefully low number of prosecutions carried out, together with the issuing of more fixed penalty notices (FPNs).

Fly-tipping in Morton Street, Barton Hill

Fly-tipping in Morton Street

Fly-tipping in particular seems to have burgeoned during the lockdowns of the last year, fuelled in part by lower numbers of people on the street (and hence less casual surveillance/deterrence. Ed.), plus the twin booms of DIY projects and online shopping (the latter has also given rise to an increase in cardboard presented for recycling, according to Bristol Waste. Ed.).

In the meantime, keep reporting fly-tipping, litter and other environmental crimes to Bristol City Council, Bristolians. It does make a difference.

PS: I’ve been informed the work I do in the local area was mentioned in the meeting when the amendment was discussed.

Update 14/07/21: Yesterday evening’s Bristol Clean Streets Forum meeting was informed that all the additional enforcement officers will be in post by the start of August.

Fast food litter petition

in 10 years of campaigning for less litter and fly-tipping in east Bristol’s Lawrence Hill and Easton wards, one constant factor has been litter generated by takeaways, particularly the major franchises like Burger King, KFC and the like.

A petition has now been started on change.org to help tackle part of the problem, namely littering by their motorised customers, some of whom seem to have no compunction at just pitching the packaging their meal came in out of the vehicle window once their appetites have been sated.

Fast food litter

Fast food litter. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The back streets of Easton and Lawrence Hill are a good mile of so from the nearest McDonalds, Burger King or KFC, but that does not stop litter from those outlets blighting the neighbourhood.

The relevant petition is entitled “Fast food restaurants to print vehicle reg on takeaway packaging to discourage littering” and reads as follows:

The recent break in fast food companies business has given us time to be able to start to clean up the streets once littered with empty McDonald’s bags, KFC boxes and other takeaway restaurant litter.
KFC has been back open merely a couple of days and already pictures of carelessly discarded boxes are circulating on the internet. Let’s not slip back to where we were in terms of litter before the Covid lockdown. Let’s make compulsory that all drive through restaurants, who sell takeaway food, have to print the purchasers vehicle registration onto their bags or boxes. This will make it much easier to trace the litter back to the purchaser and result in a fine or preferably litter picking duties. I am proposing the idea of 3-4 stickers around the size of the bottom of the restaurants cup, printed with date/time and car registration, placed onto the bottom of the bags, cups and boxes to make it difficult for repeat litterers to remove their details without spilling the remaining contents into their cars/vans. The restaurants CCTV will back up this evidence with pictures of the driver and vehicle to provide solid evidence that they were the purchaser of said litter. The fine or community hours need to be big enough to cover costs of enforcement officers investigation times, resulting in nobody “slipping the net”.
If we can reach 100,000 signatures I can show clear public interest and go straight to the Secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and demand change. As this could result in a fine for the offenders this will make it much more appealing to the government to pass as law and thus resulting in a cleaner environment for everyone to enjoy.
Please help your local and national environment by merely signing this petition and sharing on social media platforms and as many large groups as you can, making a small but very needed step in the right direction.
Thank you good citizens.

Sign the petition.

If the petition is successful, that just leaves how to resolve the problem of those on foot who litter after eating their takeaways whilst walking home… 🙁

Abandoned cycle removal – a Bristol how-to

Cycling has undergone an upsurge in popularity in recent times due to it being a healthy and convenient mode of transport.

Nevertheless, this increase in popularity does have some drawbacks, one of which is damaged or abandoned cycles  being left attached to cycle racks or other street furniture, like this typical example on Lawrence Hill by the station steps.

Damaged, abandoned cycle attached to Sheffield stand

Even though I’ve been involved for a decade with trying to stem the tide of litter and fly-tipping that blight our streets, I was uncertain of the procedure to follow to report dumped bikes and get them removed.

I therefore turned to the Community Engagement Team of Bristol Waste, a council-owned company responsible for recycling and waste collections and street cleansing, for advice.

The relevant part of their response is quoted below.

The process is – logging a web form under street cleansing (https://www.bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel/street-that-needs-cleaning) and then provide the details of where the bike is. The crew will go and cut it off and dispose of it. If it looks like its owned by someone, then we put a notice on for 3 weeks and then go back and remove it if still there.

That seems very simple indeed.

Thanks, for your helpful reply, Bristol Waste!

I now hope others will join me in keeping the streets free of abandoned clutter.

NB:: as abandoned bikes are not specifically mentioned in the drop-down list of items that can be reported for attention, I chose to class it as ‘Litter‘. 😀

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