A strategy to pit the whole Aberdeenshire community against the problem of litter and fly-tipping will go before councillors next week. (Thu, Nov 30)
While the area’s streets are considered clean and perform well in annual independent assessments, they are not necessarily litter free.
Clearly the best solution is not to drop litter in the first place, or dump rubbish in our countryside, but while it continues the whole community can play its part in putting a stop to it.
At a time when tourism is becoming increasingly important for the region and against a backdrop of local authority budget reductions, there is a need for everyone to take some responsibility.
Councillors are now being asked to agree to the production of an overarching Community Litter Prevention Action Plan for all of Aberdeenshire.
The intention is the council’s recycling and waste service would work with local organisations and community groups to help them produce their own plans to keep local areas clean.
These would then feed into the overarching strategy for the area, as would the council’s own Litter Prevention Action Plan, which councillors are also being asked to approve.
National guidelines support prevention as a key strategy in tackling litter and fly tipping. The Scottish Government’s national litter strategy also encourages personal responsibility and behaviour change.
It promotes a new approach to litter, focusing on prevention instead of clean up, and encourages action based on specific types of interventions and collaborative efforts to drive change.
The strategy also identifies the benefit of Litter Prevention Action Plans in enabling organisations and communities to take collective action to tackle the problem.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Waste Manager, Ros Baxter, said: “In terms of litter and cleanliness, the percentage of Aberdeenshire streets at an acceptable standard is consistently higher than the Scottish national average.
“This does not mean however that there is no work to do, and we recognise this, but it is not the council’s job alone – communities and individuals have a responsibility for their environment too.”
The council’s Head of Roads, Landscape Services and Waste Management, Philip McKay, said: “Everyone has a role to play in helping to change behaviour and so reduce the amount of waste that ends up as litter or fly-tipping.
“Preventing litter and fly-tipping requires a fundamental change in behaviour, one that cannot be achieved by the council alone – anyone with an interest in their community can help ensure these actions are seen as socially unacceptable and contribute to the quality of their local environment.”
Work is already underway to identify and contact all relevant local organisations, including the public sector, voluntary and community groups, educational establishments and businesses of all sizes.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee will consider the plans at a meeting in Aberdeen on Thursday, November 30.