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Facebook and Twitter Used In Campaign To Keep Roadsides Litter-free

Published on: 28 Nov, 2012
Updated on: 28 Nov, 2012

A campaign which aims to persuade drivers not to throw litter from their vehicles is being launched by Guildford Borough Council (GBC).  

Graham Egan, Penny Branwhite and Tom Welocha from Guildford Borough Council’s road cleaning team.

A team of dedicated front-line roadside cleaning staff will be talking on Facebook and Twitter about the job they do for five days from Monday next week (December 3).

“We think people will be shocked by the kind and the amount of rubbish that motorists dump,” said Penny Branwhite of the street cleaning crew. “We can clean up a stretch of roadside and within a matter of hours it’s filled up again with all manner of stuff.”

Don’t drop litter from your vehicle – take it home and dispose of it sensibly.

Cllr Matt Furniss, GBC’s lead councillor for environment, said: “It costs the borough’s tax payers nearly £2 million a year to clean our streets.

“As well as being costly, roadside litter can also be hazardous for drivers and refuse teams and causes traffic disruption”.

Litter pickers have to work alongside fast moving cars and lorries. Health and safety laws mean that road closures are often needed which can cause delays. Serious accidents are also be caused by litter flying out of car windows, or larger material falling from roof racks or trucks.

As well as cleaning up the borough’s roads, the council aims to educate people about littering – including working with haulage firms, encouraging them to carry loads securely.

Surrey Wildlife Trust is backing the campaign because of the impact of roadside rubbish on animals. A spokesman said:  “Roadside verges, like any green space, are important for our wildlife and littering is harmful to their environment. Small mammals, such as shrews and wood mice get trapped inside discarded bottles and cans and can die.

“Larger birds such as wildfowl get stuck in the plastic rings from cans. And nicotine leaching from cigarette butts can pollute the water that wildlife relies on”.

GBC’s message for drivers and their passengers is simple says Cllr Furniss: “Please keep your  litter in your car, take it home, or find a bin when you stop.  Help us to keep Guildford’s roads clean, protect wildlife and save tax payers money.”

This latest project aimed at drivers is part of a wider campaign by the council which encourages people to love where they live.  This is linked to the national Love Where You Live campaign run by Keep Britain Tidy.
Watch out for posters around the town, news on GBC’s website at and follow on Facebook and @GuildfordBC.

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Responses to Facebook and Twitter Used In Campaign To Keep Roadsides Litter-free

  1. John Schluter Reply

    November 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    How about more prosecutions for people throwing cigarette-ends out of their windows and whilst on the subject, pedestrians, people outside offices in their “ciggy breaks”, people who think that their fag butts dissolve in water? If I can see people doing this then why can’t the police?
    I also happen to think that if a sense of pride in our country were somehow to be instilled then the problem would decrease, what happened to the “Keep Britain Tidy” campaign?
    In Australia there is a similar project entitled “Do the Right Thing”, encouraging their citizens to have pride in their country and not make a mess of it.
    Singapore has stringent fines for littering, $1,000 or thereabouts, most of the place is clean.
    Another option would be to place the burden on the waste producers; count up the empty McDonalds / KFC / Burger King / Benson & Hedges packaging and ask for contributions?
    Education however seems to remain at the heart of any solution so off you go educationalists, law enforcement officers and prosecutors.

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    November 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    This is to be welcomed,but I wish more effort was spent in educating households to put their domestic rubbish out on the right days and in the correct fasihon.

    I am sure many council-tax payers are sick of seeing houshold gabbage strewn across the streets attracting vermin of every kind.

  3. Zilch UK Reply

    November 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Great idea but the litterers will have to be following to read the tweets and we doubt that they’ll be inclined to do so.

    We encourage drivers to supply us with registration numbers of vehicles seen littering (anything from a fag-end to a fly-tip) and suggest that people should record evidence from bagged litter. If it were a crime scene (and littering is illegal) there would be enough evidence to convict and so we need someone to explain why this isn’t done.

    We’ll follow with interest.

    Editor: This reply was sent by Zilch UK, the national network of individuals in the UK working to eliminate littering. Website:

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