Litter around North Devon schools and colleges is a 'disgrace'

A file photo of an overflowing bin

A file photo of an overflowing bin - Credit: Joe Ives/LDRS

Litter around schools and colleges in North Devon is a ‘disgrace’ according to a new report by North Devon Council (NDC). 

Councillors will meet staff at Petroc College to help address the problem in Barnstaple by launching a ‘litter-free’ campaign. 

The council’s litter working group found verges of main roads in North Devon were littering hotspots ‘as result of the inexplicable tendency of drivers to eject rubbish from their vehicles whilst in transit’. 

The report by councillor Netti Pearson (Greens, Ilfracombe West Ward), lead member for the environment, concludes that changes to policy and behaviour are needed to tackle the wider litter problem in the district. 

It found that there are no established procedures for requesting a public bin, nor for determining if the right bin is in the right place, and no readily available record of the number and types of bins in stock. 

Cllr Pearson said litter makes areas look “uncared for” and attracts anti-social behaviour. 

She added: “The impact of litter on the social, economic, and environmental fabric of our communities cannot be overstated. 

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“All over the country, local authorities and local communities are trying to find effective ways to address the problems created by the increase in litter. We are no different.” 

The litter working group is investigating ways of combatting the problem, including the potential roll-out of on-street recycling bins. 

Its report will be taken to the council’s strategy and resources committee with the recommendation of a new bin purchasing plan for replacing broken bins. It will also ask the committee to consider developing a website dedicated to litter campaigns. 

The report concludes: “We need to address the causes of litter in as much as we can, incorporating known techniques for effecting behaviour change, as well as delivering an effective litter collection service. 

“The working group considers that partnership working with businesses, parishes and community groups will be key and that clearly defined practices and processes are necessary to improve the service.”

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