Behaviour change campaign on litter puts local people at the heart of a new city centre clean up push.
Birmingham City Council, together with behaviour change charity Hubbub, are launching a new and innovative anti-litter campaign.
Part of the council’s wider Cleaner Greener Streets campaign, this initiative will focus on night time littering and aims to prevent football fans from throwing their rubbish on the street during this summer’s European Championships games.
Littering is a real strain for local business owners especially during the summer months. That is why residents, shopkeepers and business owners in New Street and Broad Street have joined together to address the issue of litter on two of the most challenging streets in the City Centre where the average daily footfall on New Street is 250K and the Broad Street night economy attracts thousands each night.
Funded by a coalition of businesses and the council, this is the first time that the council, traders and residents have joined forces this way to tackle night time and football-related littering in the area. Initial observations on the street have identified that cigarettes, chewing gum, flyers and fast food are the most frequently littered items.
The campaign will also see the introduction of the ‘Ballot Bin’. The voting ashtray nudges smokers to vote with their cigarette butts on questions which can be tailored locally or to topical events. Initially Ballot Bins will be asking smokers, ‘Can England win the Euros?’.
New research from Hubbub shows that nearly one in ten people in Birmingham thinks dropping a cigarette on the floor doesn’t count as littering and one in ten people in Birmingham are more likely to drop litter on a night out.
Every year it costs Birmingham City Council in excess of £1M per annum to deal with litter, fly-tipping and street cleansing in the city centre.
This is the first of series of interventions which will be introduced on New Street and Broad Street over the next five months to prevent litter using positive, interactive messages. It based on a campaign which was trialed in a street in Westminster, London last year and reduced littering by 26%.
By rallying together, the business community wants to fight against litter and to support each other.
Alan Walker, staff of Wetherspoons on Broad Street: “We want to see a clean city centre. When people leave litter around it is detrimental to good business; it really puts people off coming to Broad Street.”
Other results from Hubbub’s survey shows that 45% of people in the Birmingham area say that they often end up clearing up other people’s litter. Also, 57% said that they would be afraid to confront people who drop litter. 81% of people say that seeing litter on the streets in their local area makes them feel angry and frustrated.
Trewin Restorick, Hubbub’s Founder and CEO, said: “This initiative will test innovative ways to prevent litter, trying these new interventions for the first time in Birmingham. We will introduce best practice from around the world and we’re delighted to have brought together this unique collaboration of organisations to tackle this important issue.”
Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, said: “We know cleaner greener streets are a top priority for citizens and businesses in Birmingham – so it is fantastic that traders and organisations are coming together to work in partnership with us to make the city centre as attractive and welcoming as possible to all visitors. Through this latest initiative, we’ll see a number of interactive and fun ways for people to help us achieve this aim. Watch this space in the weeks ahead!”
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