Green spaces

Questions and answers on current issues: bin collections and litter

Q: Why is there currently a litter problem on local green spaces?
A: With the latest government guidance, an increased number of people are spending more time outdoors visiting their local green spaces to exercise, picnic or relax. This unusually high number of visitors means that more litter is being generated. Although there are bins on site, they fill up shortly after being emptied. The weight of rubbish our team is having to dispose of is anywhere between 500-700kgs every few days, which is significantly more than normal.

Litter that is left in the evenings and overnight, encourages foxes and other wildlife to scavenge the bins. This then results in rubbish being spread around the bins and on site. If it is windy, the rubbish is spread further afield and it takes longer at each site to clear all the litter.

Q: Can the bins be collected, and litter picked more often?
A: There is a bin collection and litter picking schedule in place and the team is working as efficiently as possible but it is difficult to keep up with the high demand.

Q: Why don’t we hire more staff to collect bins and clear litter?
A: Our aim is to deliver community services in a cost-effective way that offers value for money for our residents. We believe that working with our residents, we ca resolve this issues without increasing costs.

Q: Why don’t we have more bins?
A: We have installed additional 1100 litre bins temporarily at popular sites that have seen a huge increase of visitors over the past weeks: Albany Reach (Thames Ditton), Cowey Sale (Walton), Weybridge Green and Brooklands Community Park. We hope this will help to cope with overflow rubbish.

Q: What have we done so far to deal with the problem?
A: We will be putting up posters on site to ask visitors to take their rubbish home to dispose of when bins are full. We have also appealed to residents on social media and on our website to do the same. We are asking people to be responsible and dispose of their litter sensibly and in a respectful manner to others. This will also help to protect and preserve the environment and ensure that everybody can carry on enjoying local green spaces.
 
Q: Why are you asking people to take their litter home if bins are full?
A: This is a small action on visitors’ part that can assist a great deal in clearing the bins. Littering is an eyesore for everybody. It spoils everyone’s enjoyment of their time outdoors. We are asking people to be considerate of others and of their local environment to help maintain this borough as an enjoyable place to live and work.

Q: How can I help in solving this problem?
A: We kindly ask you to be alert and play your part for your parks. If bins are full, please help us by taking your litter home. This simple gesture would make a big difference to our team and would help protect the environment. Please do not deposit litter next to overflowing bins. This is a danger to wildlife and a health hazard for everybody.

Q: What if you spot litter that you cannot dispose of yourself?
A: Get in touch with our Green Spaces Team at greenspaces@elmbridge.gov.uk or report it online.

Q: What if you want to help further with littering issues?
A: Residents and groups have come forward to help and are doing a fantastic job to keep green spaces as welcoming as possible for everybody. We are continually grateful for their help. If you want to contribute to their efforts, there are many groups that would welcome you to do your bit while observing social distancing.

For further information, please email greenspaces@elmbridge.gov.uk.

Date published: 3 June 2020

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