Recently I received my copy of the Spring 2005 “City Matters”, the magazine distributed by Belfast City Council to every home in the area.
There are several articles in it about the new anti-litter campaigns around Belfast. Apparently since last April 746 fixed penalty notices have been issued for littering, and they’ve just employed another litter warden and two more enforcement officers (bringing the total to 3 wardens and 6 EOs). Apparently 122 individuals have also been prosecuted in the courts for this.
It currently costs almost 10m a year to have the streets of Belfast cleaned, which is much higher than similar cities across the UK.
Currently all money raised through fines is paid to the Department of the Environment, but there is legislation planned for the summer which will allow the concil to reinvest this money in making Belfast a cleaner city.
There has also been a major anti-litter advertising campaign, “Don’t drop it, stop it!”. This has recently been independently evaluated, and, according to “City Matters”, has successfully got the message across to people, with 54% remembering the campaign without any prompting and 86% after prompting. Apparently “more than half of the people asked understood that our message was to ‘stop littering'”.
In my world, if nearly half of the people who’ve seen your ad don’t realise that it’s trying to get you to stop littering, then it’s actually a colossal failure. But “City Matters” doesn’t go into any great detail about this evaluation, so I’ve wrtten to the City Council to get a copy of the results.