Urgent action is needed to address the unsustainable cost of Northern Ireland’s rubbish problem, a litter summit has been told.
Over 100 delegates attended yesterday’s conference in Lisburn organised by Tidy NI, which focused on increasing concerns over discarded waste and how best to challenge people’s attitudes towards litter.
Among the speakers was TV presenter and lecturer David Meade.
Mr Meade, who is originally from Rathfriland, said people’s attitudes towards litter had to change.
“We have to tackle it now — this is almost like a turning point,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
“If we don’t address the problems and change people’s perceptions, then the litter issue is just going to spiral and spiral.”
At the outset of the event, Environment Minister Alex Attwood pledged £80,000 to the eco-schools programme, which is aimed at increasing awareness of green issues among children.
Ian Humphreys, chief executive of Tidy NI, said the summit was aimed at raising people’s awareness of the damage which litter does to society.
“This is about generating ideas and new ways of thinking about how we deal with litter,” he said.
Tidy NI is running a campaign called Don’t Rubbish Northern Ireland, which aims to highlight the issue of litter and discarded waste. The campaign is being backed by schools, businesses, politicians and a host of celebrities. According to latest figures, the annual cost of street cleaning rose by 20% between 2009 and 2010 to £34m.