As the city centre returns to a normality not seen for 18 months, Manchester City Council has a clear message to visitors coming into the city - littering is not acceptable.
The latest campaign to crack down on littering comes as people are returning in greater numbers back to their offices and to shops as well as visitors coming in to enjoy all that Manchester has to offer.
It aims to remind people to use the litter bins provided, take their litter home, or face the possibility of a £150 fine.
There are more than 750 bins in and around the city centre, 51 of which are the solar powered Big Belly smart bins which have greater capacity than normal bins and don’t need to be emptied as regularly.
The campaign will be backed by enforcement. A dedicated team of officers are in the city centre every day and will issue fixed penalty notices for anyone caught littering. This includes dropping gum and cigarette butts and feeding pigeons as well as all the traditional litter from food and drink packages.
It is also a timely reminder that litter fines have increased in the last year, and a fixed penalty notice is now £150, if paid within the first ten days of issue this amount is reduced to £120. If this Fixed Penalty is not paid within 28 days, the FPN is cancelled and prosecution for the original criminal offence of Littering is commenced. This is heard in a Magistrate’s court via a Single Justice Procedure, this can result in £2,500 fine being sought as well as the offence being listed on the offender’s criminal record.
During the summer, Market Street will also be the focus for a specific chewing gum campaign, funded by Mars/Wrigley encouraging people to get rid of their gum in special gum bins, alongside the enforcement consequences of dropping it on the street.
Research from previous campaigns tell us that people want to see a clean and tidy city, and the appearance of the city centre streets really matters to them. This has been borne out by an upsurge in volunteer groups in and around city during lockdown where there has been a marked increase in the numbers of individuals and groups who want to get involved in litter picking including a concerted effort by many city centre businesses who have also organized their own litter picking in the city.
Councillor Tracey Rawlins, executive member for Environment said:” We know most people detest litter, so we are asking them and everyone else to play their part in making littering socially unacceptable.
"In recent years, we have invested in a lot more bins and smarter bins which have greater capacity and allow our street cleaners more time to concentrate on other areas but as people return to the city centre in greater numbers, we want them to take responsibility, take pride in their city and help us keep a clean environment for everyone to enjoy.
"Our message is loud and clear we want to keep our streets litter free. “
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for Neighbourhoods said: “We all want to enjoy our outdoor space, and the last year has taught us how important it is to have access to clean spaces and we know that if it is litter free then people are less likely to drop or leave their litter. We will continue to crack down on litter louts and we will enforce on the spot fines on selfish people who think that the law doesn’t apply to them. This is a warning to all those people who think we don’t take littering seriously, we do, and we will act even if that means bringing them to court if they refuse to pay the fine.”