South Lanarkshire Council have spent £47,000 on collecting 14 tonnes of litter across the area.
During the course of the past few months, council teams have been out cleaning over 75 miles of road and verges around Clydesdale, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Larkhall Stonehouse and Strathaven. The teams collected more than 2,800 bin bags, which totalled to 14 tonnes of litter.
The campaign also cost the council almost £47,000 for the extra staff, temporary road restrictions and the disposal of the rubbish.
Chair of the council’s community and enterprise resources committee, Robert Brown (Rutherglen South), said: “It is very disappointing that every year we have to waste so much time and money clearing up rubbish that could have and should have been disposed of responsibly.
“Our roads are the gateways to our towns, villages and tourist destinations. Litter-strewn verges deter people from coming to our area – while clean and tidy approaches are inviting. In a nutshell, litter and fly tipping damage both the image and the living spaces for our communities.
“Our teams work hard to keep our area clean of dumped litter and rubbish. But unfortunately, a minority of people seem to think the rules don’t apply to them and that they can dump litter and rubbish wherever they like.
“Neither the council nor local communities are prepared to tolerate this, and we aim to stamp it out. We take our role in changing that behaviour seriously, through a combination of education, awareness-raising and enforcement.
“But we also have a duty to make sure our communities are safe, clean, and welcoming. So, while we condemn the actions of an irresponsible few, we have to take this action to improve the environment.”
Items picked up by the team included hundreds of bottles and cans that could have easily been recycled at the council’s waste centres, placed in bins across the area or taken home and disposed of.
The council are reiterating the fact that littering is illegal and can also harm wildlife due to the dangers of broken glass and sharp plastics.
Penalties for those caught dropping litter can range from £80 and illegal dumping of waste carries fines from £200 as well as the potential for criminal charges and even a prison sentence for serious cases.