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Call for rethink on litter bins in Newcastle's parks- a more effective summer strategy is needed after recent litter tsunami

April 6, 2021 8:32 AM

Cllr Anita LowerOpposition Liberal Democrats councillors in Newcastle are calling on the council to rethink its removal of litter bins from parks, and to draw up a "summer strategy" for the city's parks and green spaces to reduce repeats of the tidal wave of litter affecting many city parks last week.

They believe the council would save money and improve the appearance of city beauty spots by reinstating some of the bins removed as part of council budget cuts in recent years, suggesting that the cost of emptying bins during warm weather weekends would potentially be less than the cost of large scale clean ups after heavy public use of the parks.

Opposition neighbourhoods spokesperson Cllr Anita Lower said: "The council needs to consider whether its decision not to have adequate bin provision in parks is actively contributing to the problem. We would like to see a review of the council's strategy on this and an assessment made of the comparative costs of large scale clean ups and the costs of restoring a modest number of bins. We'd also like to understand why there is little or no enforcement being taken against those leaving large amounts of waste behind when they go home.

We think people would be much more likely to act responsibly if there was adequate provision to dispose of litter, but bins in parks are few and far between and are often overflowing. At present, a significant burden is being put on the parks trust's budget and on community volunteers who carry out clean-ups.

No one is condoning the recent anti-social behaviour in parks, and we agree that people should be responsible and take litter home rather than leave it strewn all over the place. But we can't help feeling that the council's decision to remove many bins from parks in recent years has contributed to the problems we've seen in the past week. It should not be beyond the ability of the council and parks trust to arrange for large wheeled dumpster bins or even skips to be on site during sunny summer weekends and Bank Holidays when large numbers are expected. A more effective summer strategy is needed."