Council representatives from across Northern Ireland gathered at Mossley Mill on Wednesday, November 13 to discuss how councils should deal with litter, graffiti and dog fouling.
With ever greater importance being placed on making towns and parks clean and inviting, discussions at the TIDY Northern Ireland Litter Summit focussed on the quickest, most effective way to change people’s poor littering habits.
Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of TIDY Northern Ireland, said: “Not only does the summit allow sharing of great ideas on how to stop people littering, but it also results in positive steps being taken, such as through better enforcement, education, media campaigns or public engagement.”
Local councils in Northern Ireland spent almost £40million sweeping streets and lifting dog mess last year, while handing out 4,106 fixed penalty notices.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan, who opened the event, added: “It is completely unacceptable that we spend such a staggering amount of money each year on street cleaning. Littering is a form of anti-social behaviour and should not be tolerated. It is so easy to dispose of litter properly, but still far too many people drop it on the ground and expect others to pick it up and ratepayers to foot the huge bill.
“The fact that those who litter are more likely to be caught and fined by our district councils is good news. But more needs to be done. We need to work to change the behaviour of those who mess up our streets and beauty spots.
“I call on all of our councils to get tough with those who litter and also with those who fail to clean up after their dogs have fouled. Tougher action by all district councils is necessary to send out a clear and consistent message that littering and dog fouling offences will not be tolerated.”