High-speed litterbugs are being warned their actions are not only dangerous, but are also a blight on our beautiful landscape!
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Streetcare team has once again been tackling road side litter head on and are asking motorists to clean up their driving!
The team has been out in force along one of Wales’ busiest “A” roads - Abercynon to Cardiff stretch of the A470, where the annual clean up costs of this piece of highway alone comes in at a staggering £36,000!
During the latest clean-up the team recovered a massive 12 tonnes of waste, including 500 black bags filled with rubbish and 13 sweeper loads of debris. All of this has been caused by thoughtless motorists traveling through our County Borough.
These clean-up operations take place four times a year and have to be carefully planned due to the dangerous conditions and can sometimes mean disruption for motorists as the Streetcare team work alongside this busy highway.
Councillor Andrew Morgan Cabinet Member for Frontline Services, said:
"Litter is an unsightly and unnecessary burden and one that we can easily avoid - that's why we are asking people to take one simple step towards making the roads a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone. The money and staff resources spent removing litter from the A470 could be far better spent elsewhere.
"If all drivers kept a bag in their vehicle to store rubbish and then disposed of it safely, it would be a really positive move in tackling roadside litter."
Roadside litter is not only unsightly, but is also a threat to the environment and wildlife and can block drains and cause flooding. For the Council, clearing litter diverts much-needed resources away from essential services, while items thrown from moving vehicles can be a hazard to other road users.
The main problem within Rhondda Cynon Taf appears to be vehicles who pull in to lay-by’s and fly tip their waste or those who dangerously throw their unwanted wrapper or cigarette butts from their moving vehicles - this is illegal and those caught will receive a minimum £75 fine or could end up facing criminal proceedings, which could result in thousands of pounds in fines and a criminal record.
Over the last year 523 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been issued to individuals who committed acts of environmental crime, which includes, dog fouling, fly tipping, littering and dropping cigarette butts. This has resulted in the recovery of £36,000 from environmental criminals, which only just covers the annual clean up of one stretch of highway in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Refusal to pay the £75 FPNs led to some of these being dealt with at magistrates court and often resulting in several hundred pounds worth of fines and costs being imposed on them when found guilty.
During the same period the Council’s Enforcement Wardens issued 2882 warning letters in a bid to encourage residents to learn the error of their ways and think twice before they commit the eco-crime!
All the revenue generated from the FPNs is invested back in frontline services, to further improve our County Borough and respond to the priority issues our residents have identified.
The message is clear – eco-criminals in Rhondda Cynon Taf will not be tolerated, as the Council cracks down on anyone found littering, allowing their dog to foul in a public place, fly tipping and graffiti.
The Council’s dedicated Streetcare Enforcement team are out in force on foot, bikes and in cars across the County Borough ready to catch offenders, as many unlucky drivers are now finding out.
For further information on the services provided by the dedicated Streetcare teams call 01443 425001 or visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/streetcare.