Bristol launches citywide campaign to reduce mountain of litter

Bristol City Council has launched a campaign in a bid to make Bristol measurably cleaner by 2020, in partnership with its arms-length Bristol Waste Company (BWC).

Bristol launches citywide campaign to reduce mountain of litter
Images have been created to show the annual street litter collected in Bristol next to the city's landmarks and streets
The three-year Clean Streets campaign, launched on 21 November, encourages greater levels of reuse, repair and recycling and asks individuals, community groups, schools and businesses to take collective responsibility for keeping the streets clean and tidy.

Cited by Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees as being a top priority for the city, the campaign addresses a city-wide perception that levels of littering, fly-tipping and dog fouling have reached an unacceptable level, and that more needs to be done to combat the problem.

Commenting on the campaign, Rees said: “We should and we can be as clean as cities such as Zurich, Tokyo and Singapore. The Clean Streets campaign was one of my manifesto pledges and is a subject that’s very close to my heart.

“If we all work together, we can change the city around us and make all that’s defacing our local communities things of the past. Let’s be proud of where we live and work together to achieve the goal of clean streets by 2020.”

Bristol Waste Clean Streets

Each year, BWC collects 3,700 tonnes of litter from Bristol’s streets, not including rubbish that is fly-tipped or residents’ household residual waste. To better illustrate this figure, the company has created computer-generated images modelling what that quantity of litter would look like sited next to iconic city landmarks, homes and the local M32.

'A movement we all need to be part of'

The campaign has been launched after the council-owned BWC was awarded a long-term integrated waste contract by the council in August, to provide an integrated collection and disposal services to the city over the next 10 years.  Under previous contracts, waste collection and disposal have been dealt with separately, but as part of the new agreement BWC will be responsible for all aspects of collection and disposal in Bristol.

Kurt James, Project Manager of the campaign, emphasised the need to deliver lasting change. He said: “We’re asking people to report problems as they see them, tell us how we can improve our services and get involved. In return, we will regularly report back on the city’s progress, champion best practice and enforce where necessary.” 

Tracey Morgan, Managing Director of BWC, added: “Whilst we have overall responsibility for running effective street cleansing programmes throughout Bristol, making our streets cleaner is a movement we all need to be part of. We’ll do this by providing guidance, materials and equipment as well as celebrating the great work being done in each Bristol neighbourhood.”

Among the initiatives that will be run as part of the campaign, residents will be asked to pledge to pick up one piece of rubbish a day or join a community clean-up event.

The BWC website also contains a range of interviews with activists in different fields of waste reduction and reuse, explaining, among other things, how residents can cut down on plastic pollution, grow their own food in urban spaces to cut down on food waste and recycle unwanted wood through ocmmunity projects.

An in-depth profile of Bristol Waste will appear in the upcoming issue of Resource magazine.

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