Anti-Litter Squad To Keep Merton's Parks Tidy

Local park litter louts could be fined

The specialist environmental crime enforcers working with Merton council to crack down on littering in the borough are now turning their attention to parks.

Following a successful trial working alongside the council's own enforcement officers on Merton's streets, the team from Kingdom Environmental Protection Services will be going into parks around the borough over the next few months to deter people from dropping litter.

Anyone caught dropping litter or not clearing up after their dog in Merton's parks is liable to pay a fixed penalty notice of £75. So far, Kingdom has issued  more than 2,000 fixed penalty notices to people they've found littering on Merton streets since the end of April.

Although the most recent annual residents' survey showed 70% of residents rated Merton's parks as good to excellent, the council is introducing tougher litter enforcement in parks to ensure that they are kept clean and that residents can continue to enjoy the borough’s green spaces and the range of facilities they offer.

As part of the council's zero tolerance approach to litter and dog fouling, the enforcement officers will improve the level of patrols in known hotspots in the borough’s parks and open spaces.

Tougher enforcement on people who drop litter is the latest initiative in the council’s anti-litter campaign following the publication of its anti-litter code, installation of special gum and cigarette butt bins, high tech smart bins in parks, as well as teaming up with Love Clean Streets to allow residents to report litter and fly-tipping through the free Love Clean Streets smartphone app.

Merton Council's cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge said: "We have one of the greenest boroughs and some of the most beautiful parks in London that are enjoyed by many of our residents and visitors and we won't tolerate the minority of people dropping litter in them.

"Every year we spend £5million clearing litter, graffiti, fly-tipping and other environmental crimes from around the borough, some of which could be spent on other services. Bringing in extra enforcement on this will allow us to keep our parks looking clean and beautiful."

September 1, 2014