Mass littering in Newcastle parks sparks calls for extra bins

Litter strewn across parksImage source, Laurence Taylor
Image caption,
Campaigners said people should take personal responsibility for their litter but more bins would help

Scenes of mass littering in a city's parks have led to calls for a council to reinstall bins.

Newcastle's Town Moor and Heaton Park were left covered with debris last week after sunny weather.

Newcastle City Council removed 2,100 bins in 2017 and replaced them with 800 larger ones, which the authority said has increased bin capacity.

Campaigners said people should take "personal responsibility" for littering, but more bins would help.

Lib Dem councillors have urged the Labour-run authority and Urban Green Newcastle, the charity which runs Newcastle's parks, to reinstall the axed bins according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Anita Lower, the Lib Dems' neighbourhoods spokesperson, said park bins are "few and far between and are often overflowing".

Image source, Tammy Cunningham
Image caption,
More bins would ease the current overflowing problems, campaigners said

She said: "No-one is condoning the recent anti-social behaviour in parks, and we agree that people should be responsible and take litter home. 

"But we can't help feeling that the council's decision to remove many bins from parks in recent years has contributed to the problems we've seen."

She suggested large dumpster bins or skips could be put in the parks during sunny weekends and on bank holidays.

A council spokesman said responses to the mess caused as lockdown restrictions have eased include rolling out 20 more 360-litre wheelie bins to areas that had seen particularly large amounts of litter, adding that the authority issued more than 500 waste-related fines last year.

They said: "We are meeting with Urban Green next week to discuss a different approach to managing litter in parks over the summer.

"However, in many areas larger bins are not appropriate, as we cannot empty them effectively, and - with an increase in bin fires in parks, likely due to people incorrectly disposing of disposable barbecues - a skip, which could result in a far larger blaze, is not an option.

"Litter is a matter of personal responsibility, and it is up to everyone to use the bins provided and if one is full, find another or take your rubbish home."

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