Harlow Council Steps Up Fight Against Litter
Published by Rebecca Jackson for Kier Services in Environment and also in Communities
L-R Jon Grundy, Harlow Council Street Scene Manager; Cllr Phil Waite, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environment; Paul Sitton, Kier Harlow Street Cleansing Supervisor; Marysia Rudgley Harlow Council Community Safety Team Manager; Barry Bates, Kier Harlow B
Harlow Council and Kier Harlow are bolstering their efforts to keep Harlow clean by employing a new environmental enforcement officer to target litter and rubbish in hotspot areas around the town.
The post, which is being funded by Kier Harlow, is strengthening existing work to tackle enviro-crime by working with residents and businesses to ensure they take responsibility for clearing up their litter and rubbish.
The officer, who has been employed since October 2013, carries out daily patrols of the town working alongside Kier Harlow’s street cleansing team. The role concentrates on identifying households and businesses which have dumped rubbish or let litter spill out on to the streets, with the aim to minimise repeat offences. This is helping the street cleansing teams be more efficient and to get round the town quickly to keep it tidy.
Since last October the officer has investigated 71 incidents of fly-tipping and in 41 cases tracked down the resident responsible to ensure they remove the rubbish rather than Kier Harlow. The role will also involve approaching members of the public who are seen dropping any litter, including chewing gum and cigarette ends, and if necessary issuing £80 fixed penalty notices.
John Phillips, operations director for Kier Harlow, said: “Street cleansing is a key priority for both the council and Kier Harlow. We are happy to fund this role to ensure as much as possible is being done to work with residents in ensuring our goal of clean Harlow streets.”
Cllr Phil Waite, cabinet portfolio holder for environment, said: “Working with Kier Harlow we are determined to keep Harlow clean and tidy. The officer’s role is a proactive one which aims to get residents and businesses to tidy up their mess before Kier Harlow’s street cleansing teams arrive and work with the minority of people who are responsible for creating litter and rubbish. The council spends hundreds of thousands of pounds every year on street cleansing, which is important to residents and businesses. Ultimately, if the minority of people don’t listen and work with us we will take a tougher line and fine them.”
The officer is also providing an awareness-raising role - for example by working with schools - to highlight the problems caused by littering. Cllr Emma Toal, cabinet portfolio holder for youth & citizenship said: “Attitudes to issues such as litter are formed at an early age and an important part of this role is to encourage young people to have pride in Harlow and to help keep it clean and tidy.”