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800 bags of rubbish collected on the A120

Almost 800 bags of rubbish were collected on the Uttlesford section of the A120 as part of a routine litter picking programme.

A120 Litter Pick

Four times a year Uttlesford District Council's Street Services team cleans up the verges of the 11-mile stretch of highway that runs through the district.

The latest clearance showed a 40 per cent reduction on the amount of litter collected on the last full pick of the A120 in March, and follows the Cleaner Essex Group Don't toss itcampaign which targeted littering from vehicles.

The bags weighed an average of 3kg each - meaning a combined total of almost two-and-a-half tonnes of litter was cleared from the A120 verges. This is equivalent to the weight of one-and-a-half cars in discarded crisp packets, chocolate wrappers, drinks bottles and coffee cups.

Cllr Susan Barker, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: "Throwing litter from vehicles is unacceptable and we would remind motorists that they risk being hit in the pocket with a fine, or prosecuted, if they do so.

"Litter is not only unsightly, it spoils our countryside, is bad for the environment and it can cause a hazard. It also costs money to clear up and this is a resource that could be better used elsewhere."

The government has very recently announced that the maximum on-the-spot fines for dropping litter will almost double from April 2018 - from the current limit of £80 to £150.  Councils will be able to impose these fines on the owners of vehicles from which litter is thrown, even if it was discarded by someone else.

Cllr Barker added: "Keeping our streets and open spaces clean and tidy is everyone's responsibility, and we would encourage the public to join us in the fight against litter and fly-tipping. If you see someone throwing rubbish out of their car window, please report it. The council will take action against offenders where it is possible to do so."

To report an incident of littering from a vehicle, please complete an online form at www.uttlesford.gov.uk/litter. Remember to include as much detail as possible, including the registration number plate, the make and model of the vehicle, the time and date of the incident.

3 November 2017