Belfast Telegraph

Pupils urged to help fight litter

By Brénna Walsh

Primary school pupils are being asked to help fight grime on the streets of Belfast by designing a sidekick for the city council’s very own superhero Captain Cleanup.

Belfast’s answer to the caped crusader, Captain Cleanup is looking for a worthy sidekick to help spread the anti-litter message ‘Litter, get a grip'.

Children at primary schools across Belfast are being asked to enter the council competition to come up with a litter-fighting sidekick to help Captain Cleanup clean up the city.

Now in its sixth year, the Litter, get a grip campaign is being backed by new advertising on council bin lorries with the message ‘Wise up, or pay up', reminding litters that there is a cost to their bad habits.

Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Health and Environmental Services Committee, Pat McCarthy, said: “While this project is about having a bit of fun and getting school children involved in addressing the problem of litter, there is a serious message. Littering is an offence and if caught, you could face a £50 fine.

“While we have seen littering behaviour in Belfast improve since we introduced the campaign six years ago, we issued more than 1,700 fines last year which goes to show that too many people still think it’s acceptable to drop a crisp packet, or chewing gum, or a cigarette butt.

“Every year we spend around £11 million cleaning the city streets; money which could be much better spent investing in and improving council services, for example.”

Staff from the council’s Community Awareness team will be visiting local schools in the future to tell them about Captain Cleanup’s battle with litter, and to help them come up with ideas for his sidekick.

If you would like to register your school for a visit and to take part in the sidekick competition, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/captaincleanup.

Closing date for schools to register is tomorrow (February 12).

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