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Are your public places ready for summer 2022?

Are your public places ready for summer 2022?

As the summer approaches, it brings with it many welcome opportunities for a whole range of outdoor activities, from picnics to festivals, to trips to public parks, beaches and theme parks. And while it’s great to see people out and about enjoying themselves, it can also create a significant problem for local authorities, businesses and other organisations in the form of unsightly litter in public places.

Litter strategy guidance

‘Binfrastructure - The right bin in the right place’ is a guide produced by WRAP for local authorities and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) containing advice and support on managing litter in public spaces. The document acknowledges the problem that seasonal usage can cause in terms of littering, and makes suggestions about what can be done to address it.

Who’s responsible?

Public open spaces are defined as places that the public has access to, such as picnic sites and municipal cemeteries, although they can also include some areas of private land which are accessible to the public. The relevant local authority is responsible for these sites, although management may be shared across different council departments.

These sorts of spaces are often prone to seasonal variations in littering rates, and this should be taken into account when planning the local litter strategy. The WRAP guide suggests that those responsible for waste management consider actions such as additional bin collections or temporarily reassessing the bin provision when usage is high.

Identifying a need

When siting bins, the Binfrastructure document also suggests considering the following:

  • Placing bins where food and drink are consumed
  • Placing bins where dog fouling is likely
  • Ensuring that there is easy access for emptying. This may need to be done daily or even more frequently during periods of high use.

Some authorities, such as the Lake District National Park, tackle the issue of summer littering by encouraging visitors preserve the natural beauty of the region by taking their litter home with them. While this is a powerful message, it may not work for all areas, and so local authorities do need to back this up with a well thought-out litter strategy, a joined-up approach and clear binfrastucture.

Messing about on the river

Waterside land such as canals, towpaths, riverside walks and marinas are all places that tend to have higher use and footfall during fine weather. They may also cut through busy urban areas.

One of the issues with litter dropped along the water’s edge is the fact that it can often be hidden from view once discarded. If dropped in the water, rubbish often sinks below the surface. However, it still pollutes its environment, creating a potential hazard for wildlife.

Furthermore, responsibility for managing litter on this type of land can be complicated as only a small proportion of the land may be covered by the statutory cleansing duty of the landowner. Well-used waterside sites such as those that are located near to residential or commercial districts are likely to need additional litter bins when usage peaks, as are places that are used frequently throughout the year for activities such as dog walking.

The issue of access

Navigation authorities such as the Canal & River Trust, the Broads Authority and the Environment Agency provide bins for waste generated by boating customers at their waterside facilities. However, these aren’t always in places where there is high footfall or where they are easily accessible. Where the majority of use is by the general public, the WRAP guide suggests that the local authority should take responsibility for binfrastructure in this area.

Waterway paths do pose an additional problem as they are often difficult for vehicles to access. This means that bins are more likely to be sited at suitable access points rather than where they are most needed along the water’s edge. One way of tackling this is through the use of signage, making people aware of nearby places where they can dispose of their rubbish responsibly, with messaging encouraging people to use these bins.

Amberol can help with your litter strategy

Ultimately, a successful litter strategy is about combining a range of elements: ongoing education, consistent messaging and effective binfrastructure. Amberol can help. Our range of indoor and outdoor litter bins has a receptacle for every location and every requirement to help ensure that you have a workable binfrastructure in place. We also supply WRAP approved signage to help you create consistent communication and signposting.

Call 01773 830 930 or email sales@amberol.co.uk for more information.