Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Easy Targets

a discarded Pizza box and trimmings in the kerbside The Wanstead & Woodford Guardian report on a woman who was fined £80 by Redbridge Council for throwing a cigarette butt out of her friends car window. Morris Hickey comments “it is a fine easily avoided” and he is quite right. Except that some cars are no longer fitted with ash trays.

However, there are some who argue that councils are using such measures as a revenue stream [or stealth tax] to supplement their exploding budgets, rather than discouraging un-social behaviour. Who better to target than car owners and smokers who, apparently, have money to burn.

You can almost hear them thinking, lets force all the smokers out onto the streets, don’t provide any ashtrays and then we can fine them for littering. Don’t provide adequate parking facilities, and then we can fine them for parking on a yellow line. Oh, and if there is adequate parking, let’s charge them anyway, so while they are trying to find change we can fine them.

The WWG says that over 600 littering fines have been issued but it does not say over what time period. Now, what I would like to know is this. How many of those fines have been imposed for the sort of littering we see in the picture above. Here we have a discarded Papa Johns pizza box complete with all the trimmings that has obviously been chucked out of a car window. In the same location I have seen discarded soiled disposable nappies.

When we see such transgressors brought to book in the press maybe motorists and smokers may not feel so “victimised”?


  1. Gants Hill Birdwatcher1:05 pm, May 02, 2008

    Whilst I don't approve of any litter hitting the streets, I would like to share my thoughts on cigarette butts in particular.

    Apparently, it takes about 200 years for a cigarette filter to break down. In the meantime, it could have been washed down the streets through to the drainage system and hit our river systems where it pollutes the water ways and the biota there.

    I think all litter should be taken away with the person creating it because it harms all humans and wildlife.


  2. I'd like to thank Cllr Candy for getting the Clayhall Ave/Fremantle roundabout cleaned up in less than 24hrs from my request.

  3. I wonder if our local authority followed up the case of the dog end throwing traffic warden in Barkingside after it was reported on the B21 site?

  4. Every journey starts with a small step or, something to that effect, was said once. Well, if the cleaning powers start with one cigarette butt, they are in the right direction! Good luck to them because a large proportion of the human population either do not care or don't have a brain or both!
    (And, may I say that, with my wicked sense of observation, this applies to quite a few of redbridge council cleaning operatives who have no concern whatsoever for the environment and think the rules don't apply to them. (Cigarette butts thrown out of the driver's cab even when smoking in the lorry is forbidden. Vans abandoned by the kerb with the engine running whilst the roads are swept in the distance.)
    Should I report? Doubt it!
    Finally, since smokers are fully aware of the risks of smoking why not ban these filters. And, whilst you are at it, ban gum as well. Neither are necessary. Singapore does it why not us?
    And, whilst I am ranting and raving, when I clear the rubbish thrown on the allotment, I despair at the number of black plastic bags full of green waste, thrown there, I am sure, with a clear conscience. They stink to high heaven and it is not a pleasant task to remove the fragile black plastic bag to dispose of it properly.