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More than £4 million spent collecting litter in Wigan and Leigh

Wigan Council wants the area to become litter free.

Wigan Council outlines its aims to be litter free by 2030

An innovative and more targeted litter strategy is being proposed by Wigan Council to ensure the borough becomes cleaner, greener and more sustainable.

It’s hoped that by encouraging people to be good citizens and to be proud of the areas they live, work or play in the borough, that Wigan and Leigh can be litter free by 2030. 

Currently, over £4m per year is spent taking litter off streets, parks and greenspaces, this includes £800,000 on fly tipping alone.

The litter strategy therefore presents an opportunity for everyone to reconsider their behaviours and attitudes towards litter.

Ultimately, council bosses want the litter strategy to raise the profile of the impacts of litter, shift the focus to prevention and to empower cross-sections of society to take the lead on reducing the amount they litter.

Efforts to build up the strategy will continue throughout the year with a series of workshops scheduled to take place in the autumn with key stakeholders exploring how improvements can be made around areas like biodiversity and sustainable foods.

Carl Sweeney, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Every pound of taxpayers’ money spent clearing up after people who drop rubbish on our streets or greenspaces is a pound that could have been invested in our schools, enhancing our open spaces or caring for people in need.

“We want to change the culture towards litter, too often we have to be reactive when it comes to waste removal, this strategy aims to change this and focus more on preventative action to help reduce litter and fly-tipping happening in the future.”

The development of a litter strategy follows the Deal 2030 Big Listening Project where residents were clear on how important cleaner streets and open spaces were.

Developed by residents, community organisations, businesses and public bodies, Deal 2030 outlines how everyone can work together to create a world class place to live, work and visit over the next decade.

More than 6,000 people responded which allowed 10 ambitious goals to be set out for the borough with litter enforcement and prevention one of them.

Wigan’s Litter Strategy will be innovative, locally led and involve key community groups and representatives including members, children and young people.

It will recognise local needs and aspirations of communities as well as a desire to deliver on the priorities of the Deal 2030.

Moving forward, a special panel will be brought together to create a tactical approach to realise the vision.

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