Removal of Christchurch bins could harm wildlife

A Dorset environmental campaign group fears that the Council’s new approach on tackling litter at Christchurch Quay could affect wildlife.

Bins will be removed from Christchurch Quay on March 1, because the Council wants to save money and encourage people to take their litter home. Member of The Campaign to Protect Rural England, East Dorset David Skipper said,

“It’s basically a cost-cutting exercise rather than an attempt to look after the environment. This approach is probably going to encourage people to drop more litter if there aren’t any bins there. Litter generates more litter.”

Mr Skipper highlighted Christchurch Council’s good record in monitoring litter, but suggested that the environment has not been prioritized in the new approach. He said, “It’s a well-known fact that plastic is one of the real problems caused by the public. Leaving any of that sort of material around can choke or even kill birds. If they start eating anything of a plastic nature, it’s obviously indigestible.”

However, Councillor Margaret Phipps, Portfolio Holder for the Environment at Christchurch Council, said, “I don’t think we are going to have a problem with the environment or wildlife. I don’t see why it should be any different, than it is now.”

Cllr Phipps added, “I think people who throw rubbish on the floor, will continue to do it anyway, whether the bins are there or not. We believe that there are people who would normally put something in the bin, and these people would be willing to take their rubbish home with them. There are responsible people and there are irresponsible people. We will be monitoring this and see how it goes. If it doesn’t work out, then we definitely have to think again.”

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Mr Skipper added, “Whether this experiment is going to succeed or not, I don’t know. If it doesn’t work they might have to bring back the bins or try to issue fines. They may need to educate people or rely on voluntary rubbish picking.”

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