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Empowering communities to take action on litter

05 July 2022 : Council news, Community, Environment

Children from the Bouncy Bear nursery in Wellington have received an educational visit from litter enforcement officers who are patrolling Somerset West and Taunton in a Council partnership that aims to crack down on littering.

Enforcement operations across the district are being carried out by EH Commercial Services (EHCS) as part of a 12-month trial to reduce littering in partnership with East Hampshire District Council.

Anyone caught breaking the law by dropping litter will receive an on-the-spot fine of £100. Culprits that fail to pay and are summonsed to court could face a maximum littering penalty of £2,500.

The enforcement scheme supports the Council’s recently published Litter Strategy which aims to reduce litter through public education to encourage positive change, and the roll-out of frequently serviced and strategically sited bins for easy disposal.

As part of the strategy the partners want to involve and empower the community to take ownership of their litter and change behaviour for the future.  

They were invited to help the nursery with an education topic for their children on “The People Who Help Us’.

The children and nursery staff met officers in the Council’s award-winning Wellington Park where they learned how important it is not to drop litter and what to do with rubbish instead of dropping it on the ground. They then played a game of collecting different types of 'rubbish' to put in their ‘team bins'. 

Bouncy Bear nursery manager, Sam Caddick, said: “It’s important that we teach children to understand not to litter at a young age. We want the children to grow up feeling proud of their community and are grateful to the enforcement team for joining us.”

 Cllr Andy Sully, Executive Member for Environmental Services at SWT, said: “We are keen to engage with the public to develop a strong anti-litter culture, as well as empowering communities and businesses to take positive action so that it becomes completely unacceptable to drop or dump litter of any kind.

“I am delighted that we’ve had this opportunity to ensure that children not only understand that littering is illegal and antisocial but they have the knowledge to deal with litter responsibly.

"By working together, we can all make a difference to ensure our district remains beautiful for everyone who lives and visits here.”

To request a visit from the enforcement team please email enquiries@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk