Clamping Down On Traveling Litterbugs

With on-the-spot fines

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Nearly two dozen litterbugs have been hit with on-the-spot fines for dropping litter on pavements outside rail and tube stations over the past fortnight.

Six were penalised outside Clapham Junction station on Wednesday, while four more were handed fines at the same spot last week. Another 11 were caught and given on-the-spot fines outside Putney and Tooting Broadway stations over the past week.

Similar operations were conducted outside Southfields, Wandsworth Town and Putney stations at the end of last year and led to another 13 people being hit with litter fines.

The council picks up around 7,000 tonnes of litter from the borough’s streets each year. The bill for this clear up costs local council tax payers nearly £4m a year.

In a bid to reduce the financial burden on residents, the council has unveiled a raft of new initiatives to try and tackle this problem. This includes using a fleet of brand new energy efficient vehicles to clean up the streets and the stepping up enforcement action against individual litter bugs and also local shops and businesses that try to save money by unlawfully dumping their waste on the highway.

And it is looking to bring the message home to the general public that reducing litter will not only improve the borough’s environment – it could help keep council tax bills down too.

Environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said:
“The council is doing a pretty good job of keeping the borough’s streets clean and tidy. Detailed surveys have shown that 96 per cent of our streets meet rigorous standards of cleanliness, while complaints are currently running at less than one a day. This is an exceptional performance in an inner city borough the size of Wandsworth.

“However, we fully recognise that one small piece of litter on an otherwise spotless pavement can stick out like a sore thumb, which is why we operate a zero tolerance policy and take action against all those we catch dropping litter.

“The important message we are trying to get across to everyone is that apart from keeping the borough looking good, for every sweet wrapper, drinks can, cigarette butt or unwanted carrier bag that’s properly put away in a dustbin there is a potential saving to council tax payers too.

“We are spending around £4m a year on street cleaning and if we can reduce litter levels, we can make savings and pass them back to local taxpayers.”

People given a litter-related fixed penalty notice have 28 days to pay the £80 fine. If they don’t, they will be summonsed to appear in court where magistrates could impose fines of up to £2,500. To report a flytip call (020) 8871 8249 or email

January 24, 2014