Belfast Telegraph

Park user rubbishes council's anti-litter campaign while its own bins are left to overflow

Litter seen spilling out of overflowing bins in Belfast’s Ormeau Park has prompted a call for Belfast City Council to install new disposal facilities there
Litter seen spilling out of overflowing bins in Belfast’s Ormeau Park has prompted a call for Belfast City Council to install new disposal facilities there
Litter seen spilling out of overflowing bins in Belfast’s Ormeau Park has prompted a call for Belfast City Council to install new disposal facilities there
Litter seen spilling out of overflowing bins in Belfast’s Ormeau Park has prompted a call for Belfast City Council to install new disposal facilities there

By Mark McConville

Belfast City Council's current litter campaign has been labelled "impotent nagging" as bins in Ormeau Park were pictured overflowing with rubbish.

The campaign warns people to "pick up or pay up" and informs them that "your laziness costs" while threatening an £80 fine for any offenders.

Roger Jennings walks in Ormeau Park every day but has been left appalled at the litter spilling out of overflowing council bins or lying on the ground nearby.

He believes the council would be better off appealing to people's "civic pride".

He said: "How many of my fellow citizens have been fined £80 for littering in the last year?

"I have never seen a litter warden or dog warden in the park. There's little real prospect of being fined so these slogans amount to no more than impotent nagging.

"Would the council budget for this campaign not be better spent by an appeal to civic pride or simple responsibility?

"My latest issue of City Matters magazine (produced by Belfast City Council) even urges me to 'join our litter heroes'.

"Why would I spend my free time picking up after other people when Belfast City Council can't even be bothered to provide bins fit for purpose?"

Figures on the Belfast City Council website reveal that 753 litter fines have been issued so far in 2019.

The council also said it has three litter wardens and 10 enforcement officers operating in Belfast, and in the last year has fined more than 2,500 individuals for littering.

A council spokesperson said the overflowing bins in Ormeau Park could be attributed to a number of factors. They said: "Due to the good weather and increased levels of footfall some of our bins fill up more quickly than usual. Our staff are working hard to resolve the issue.

"We would ask people to avoid leaving their rubbish at a bin that is already full, and if possible take it home with them."

City Matters also reported that the total planned income for the council in 2019/20 was £202.85m, according to Mr Jennings.

He wondered if a "tiny part of that income" could be used for "carefully sited bins that really worked".

He added: "People in the main are quite conscientious about not littering and picking up after their dogs, but there's plenty of room to improve.

"Not only are the open-top bins decrepit and done but the crows and magpies are clever enough to pick the rubbish out and leave it scattered around. "There is not even a nod in the direction of basic sorting of waste.

"Dog pooh bags, plastic bottles, beer bottles, barbecue trays and much else all disappear into or are abandoned in the vicinity of the same rusting, overflowing bins. Picnickers at thoughtfully provided picnic tables soon find there is no space left in which to dispose of their rubbish.

"As to siting (of bins), most dogs excrete within a few yards of the park entrance. Allowance could easily be made for this.

"For modest outlay and with a little planning the council could surely make it easier for us to quickly and effectively get rid of our rubbish."

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