Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, offers an update on the council’s Cleaner Greener Streets campaign and how it links in with the Great British Spring Clean, which is being officially held nationwide this weekend (March 3-5)…
It’s roughly a year since we started our Cleaner Greener Streets campaign, launched to address one of the top priorities always raised by citizens in Birmingham.
And what a 12 months it has been! Community groups, businesses, our partners in the public sector and individual citizens have united to tackle all of the issues related to the blight of waste in this city.
Behind the scenes we have a service improvement plan for waste management that is bearing fruit. After decades of neglect and underinvestment, we are investing in new approaches, modernising our services and making them operate in a smarter and more efficient way.
But that is just one side of the coin. On the other we have Cleaner Greener Streets – a three-pronged public-facing campaign to support the improvement plan.
The three strands are as follows:
- Love Your Street – working with our communities to enable and empower them to make a difference in their neighbourhoods by doing things such as community litter picks and awareness-raising with their own neighbours on how to dispose of their waste responsibly
- Zero Heroes – A mini-campaign of its own, using superhero-style graphics and imagery to educate and engage with Brummies on how they can best help the environment by reducing, re-using and recycling their waste. In year one, we have been raising general awareness of the key issues and will drill down to focus on particular hot topics where behaviour change is most needed in years two and three.
- Zero Tolerance – Making it clear at every possible opportunity this city does not and will not tolerate fly-tipping or any other sort of environmental crime. We are doing this by publicising the work of the waste enforcement unit, promoting successful prosecutions and engaging with residents and businesses to educate them on what their individual responsibilities are. We are delivering on enforcement and will continue to do so.
For me, one of the key highlights has been the Day of Action we staged in November, where ten of the council’s 40 wards staged a series of events to tackle key ‘clean and green’ issues that were specific to their localities.
It was inspiring to see 400 people come out from school children to community groups to the Police and Crime Commissioner.
In total, 34.85 tonnes of rubbish were removed from the streets in just the one day, making a positive difference for everyone living, visiting and working in the areas concerned.
The day has also provided the launch pad for a city-wide period of action, which will tie in with the upcoming Great British Spring Clean (March 3-5).
The key difference between what we did in November and what is planned for March is that we will be taking on the role of enabler this time around.
Support has been made available to groups wishing to stage events (litter picking apparatus etc) but we will not be acting as a lead agency – we want Cleaner Greener Streets to be owned by our neighbourhoods rather than being a top-down project where the council appears to impose its ways and ideas on Birmingham.
I’d urge anyone wanting to get involved to sign up via the Great British Spring Clean website. There’s still time to do something (and as far as the council is concerned, it can even be later in March if that suits best).
In closing, I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in our Cleaner Greener Streets campaign success to date and offer best wishes to everyone carrying out events in the coming weeks and months.