Residents reminded ‘city streets are not a bin’

Published: Thursday, 30th September 2021

Across the city, teams are fighting to keep Stoke-on-Trent’s streets clean but litter is being dropped as quickly as our environment team and volunteer litter pickers can clean it up.

In Cobridge, litter picking teams cleaned one street but returned only days later to find it once again strewn with litter. This is a story that is repeated in streets across Stoke-on-Trent and the country.

The amount of time that litter takes to rot once it has been dropped varies:

  • Fruit waste – up two years
  • Rolled up newspaper – up to 10 years
  • Supermarket plastic bags – between 10 and 20 years
  • Nappies – 100 years or more (some parts never)
  • Cigarette butts – up to 500 years
  • Glass bottles, plastic bottles and trays, yoghurt pots – never
  • Chewing gum - never

Everyone can play a part in helping to clean up our city and changing attitudes towards litter. Stoke-on-Trent City Council want all residents to be able to take pride in where they live. It is against the law to drop litter in the UK and anyone caught littering can be fined £80. For those who refuse to pay, the matter can be taken to court – where the fine could go up to £2,500.

Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing and environment said: “No one should be dropping litter. It is disgusting that some people think that they can throw their rubbish wherever they like with no thought for the environment or their local community. Litter picking teams should not have to be repeatedly cleaning the same streets because people will not put their litter in a bin. We once again remind all residents and visitors to the city to please dispose of litter properly, use the street litter bins provided or take it home with you.”