Local ‘superhero’ school children are the stars of a new publicity campaign to reduce litter in Bristol.
As part of the Mayor’s Clean Streets campaign, which was launched last November, the children have all taken part in litter picks to improve their neighbourhoods. Now they’re encouraging everyone in the city to do their bit and share responsibility for keeping the streets clean by not dropping litter.
Bristol Waste Company, the city’s local recycling, waste collection and street cleansing company, employs over 500 people who make 17 million household collections, operate 180 vehicles and collect 140,000 tonnes of waste and recycling every year. To keep Bristol tidy they clean 800 miles of streets and footpaths, and deal with 180,000 ad hoc job requests and service queries annually. The company collects 3,700 tonnes of litter from Bristol’s streets each year – that’s equivalent to over 290 double decker buses.
Chesney, one of the children taking part in the campaign, has been helping with the clean-up as he felt that seeing litter in the park “makes you feel a bit sad”.
Two local primary schools and one youth group, from different parts of the city, are involved with launching the Clean Streets Superheroes campaign. Veronika, a Green
Team coordinator from Hannah Moore Primary School, said: “The children’s enthusiasm is infectious – it’s hard not to want to help out when you see pupils as young as eight picking up litter in the park. When children are asked whether they want to live in a clean city they all say yes, so let’s help make this happen by encouraging people to take their litter home.”
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “These youngsters are an inspiration to all of us and it’s really encouraging to see a new generation leading the way with this. Litter is a real problem in our city, but ultimately it’s one that is preventable and something that we should all take responsibility for. The message from our young superheroes is clear – use the bin or take your litter with you, and keep our city tidy.
“The Clean Streets campaign was one of my manifesto pledges and we’ve seen lots of community groups helping to clean up their neighbourhoods, for which we are grateful. I’m asking every citizen to do her or his bit so we can have clean streets by 2020.”
The new campaign aims to educate and engage young people, parents and residents. A toolkit with practical advice about how to get involved will be available.
Tracey Morgan, Managing Director of Bristol Waste Company, said: “We are committed to working in partnership with the people of Bristol to help all communities recycle more, throw away less and keep our city’s streets clean. As well as supporting local clean up groups, we’ve loaned out over 1,000 litter pickers since the Clean Streets launch, we regularly go in to Bristol schools to hear from and help educate young people. We’re always encouraged by their energy and enthusiasm for getting involved in projects and look forward to working with, and supporting these superheroes in this latest litter campaign.”
The council’s research has found that around three quarters of people of residents think rubbish is a problem in the city. The council receives thousands of calls about the issue each year. People can be fined £75 if they are caught dropping litter – or up to £50,000 for fly tipping. Visit Bristol.gov.uk/superheroes to find out how you can help keep Bristol clean.
*Double decker bus estimated to weigh 12.65 tonnes
• First Bus are supporting the campaign by offering free advertising space on some of their buses.
• Back in November Mayor Marvin Rees, in partnership with Bristol Waste Company, launched the city’s first Clean Streets campaign in a bid to make Bristol measurably cleaner by 2020.
• The three year campaign asks individuals, community groups, schools and businesses to take collective responsibility for keeping the streets clean and tidy, and encourages everyone to reuse, repair and recycle more.
• Cited by the Mayor as being a top priority for the city, the campaign addresses a city-wide perception that levels of littering, fly tipping, fly posting and dog fouling have reached an unacceptable level, and that more needs to be done to combat the problem.
Ways to get involved:
o Help spread the word by sharing our video and Facebook posts on your own social media
o Find out how to organise a litter pick in your neighbourhood http://www.bristolwastecompany.co.uk/about/community-engagement-team/litter-picking-packs/
o Take part in a Bristol Harbour clean up https://www.facebook.com/cleanupbristolharbour/
o Let the council know about a street that needs cleaning https://www.bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel/street-that-needs-cleaning
o Report flytipping (illegal dumping of rubbish) to the council https://www.bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel/flytipping