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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

Street cleaning cost on the rise 31 January 2018

Council spending on street cleaning increases amidst significant drop in litter fines (via Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful)

 

Litter

 

Council spending on cleaning streets, roads and open spaces has seen a significant increase of 5% during the last financial year, amounting to a total of £45,562,532 across Northern Ireland. This comes as a result of deploying extra resources to keep our streets clean. However, the practice of issuing Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for dropping litter and dog fouling has dropped by 13% on last year. As such, there is a greater focus on cleaning up after litterers across the province rather than fining offenders in the first place.

The figures, which were gathered by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful from Council financial statements and records of enforcement, show the true cost that litter passes on to all of us, despite being dropped by only a few. To put the spend figure into context, it’s almost half the amount spent on constructing the iconic Titanic Belfast museum, or the purchase cost of over 100,000 new street bins.

The money used to pay for the clean–up costs comes from our rates, with the average charge to every domestic rate payer in Northern Ireland sitting at just over £57 for last year.

This is particularly interesting given the amount of money being recovered in fines compared to the amount being spent on cleaning. The stand out performer here was Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, who managed to recoup 0.77% of the amount through the payment of Fixed Penalty Notices. This may seem a small number, but it was 37 times more than the Council who recovered the least through fines, thus showing potential to offset some of these costs to the ratepayer. The total raised by Fixed Penalty Notices to be set against the cost of cleansing was just £169,588, less than 0.5% of the total cost.

Read the full press release here…