We're joining forces with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy to launch a new scheme to tackle the 'careful' littering that is affecting one of the region's best-loved beauty spots.
Careful littering is the term used to describe things like coffee cups being left on tables or sandwich wrappers being abandoned on park benches. Lazy dog walkers who leave poo bags dangling from trees or stuffed into cracks in dry stone walls will also be targeted.
Residents will now see stickers, posters and an increased enforcement presence around Hollingworth Lake to tackle this littering behaviour. The launch comes after a YouGov survey carried out for Keep Britain Tidy revealed that more than a quarter of people admitted to littering in this way.
The campaign was developed to tackle the moments when people might carefully place litter on the ground or a surface before walking away and leaving it. The advertising offers a gentle reminder that, whether it is 'carefully' placed or simply thrown on the floor, it's #StillLittering.
The launch follows a successful trial in town centres, bus stops and parks across the country and saw the total amount of litter reduced by a fifth. In some areas, the reduction was up to 57 per cent.
Out of the 1072 people polled in the trial areas, nearly 2 thirds say the campaign will stop them from leaving litter behind again. Furthermore, 8 in 10 felt the campaign was tackling something which is an issue in their area and 91 per cent said they would like to see the campaign used in other locations.
Once results are seen here in the borough of Rochdale, we plan to expand the campaign to include the 4 town centres.
This initiative follows the borough of Rochdale's most successful Spring Clean campaign with over 100 volunteers litter picking more than a tonne of litter in April and May in 2019.
Councillor Neil Emmott, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: "The majority of residents tidy up after themselves when they're out in public but there are an increasing number of people who think that the council and other residents are here to clean up their mess. Littering, and dog-fouling for that matter, won't be tolerated. Our enforcement officers are dedicated to taking a tough stance and have the power to issue fixed penalty fines of £150, reduced to £65 for payment within 7 days, to anyone caught littering and £50 to those caught dog-fouling."
Allison Ogden-Newton, CEO of Keep Britain Tidy, said: "This intervention shows it is possible to make a huge difference to the amount of litter left behind by people. By highlighting that placing a coffee cup on a shop window sill is just as bad as mindlessly throwing litter on the ground is clearly making people think twice and to do it less. With more than 1 in 4 people admitting to 'careful' littering, this intervention is a simple and effective way to get the message across to them in the place and at the moment when they're likely to do it."