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As the new school term starts in earnest Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Streetcare Enforcement team is heading out to local eateries and town centres in a bid to crackdown on lunchtime litter bugs.

Young people in Rhondda Cynon Taf could end up paying dearly for their lunch time chips if they are found mindlessly throwing their rubbish in the street.

The new lunchtime litter project will help keep our local towns and villages free from lunchtime waste. The mess often includes; cans, bottles, chip wrappers, burger boxes, chewing gum, juice cartons, crisp packets and sandwich boxes. With clean up costs escalating in to thousands it’s time to take action.

The team will work with local schools and help them to understand the implications of dropping their litter on to the floor. They will also deter litter bugs by issuing £75 fines to those who fail to put their rubbish in the many bins available.

This is the latest scheme to be introduced by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Streetcare Enforcement Team as they patrol the lunch time hotspots near local schools in a bid to keep our streets clean and waste free.

So far the scheme has resulted in three fixed penalties being issued to young people and it is hoped that it will make them think twice before they throw their wrappers outside local shops, residential properties and in to street gullies.

Failure to pay the fixed penalty notice of £75 could result in the case being sent to court and if found guilty the young person could face a criminal record and up to a £300 fine.

As part of the new scheme, recycling facilities are also being installed in schools across the County Borough to ensure that the lunchtime waste is recycled.

This is just one of the fantastic and innovative projects that are being run across Rhondda Cynon Taf in a bid to make young people think green.

Last year the Council launched its Re-uniform project, which allows parents to recycle their child’s old school uniform and purchase “like-new” recycled, washed, cleaned and “bobbled-off” uniforms at less than 60% of the normal cost. The team also launched its bike recycling scheme at Pontypridd High School and Rhys Cycle is continuing to spread the green message in primary schools assisted by Dr Clean and the Gregory Brothers.

“We take waste and litter seriously in Rhondda Cynon Taf and we continue to invest heavily in ensuring that we educate people to think greener and recycle everything that we can. Lunchtime Litter has been a problem in Rhondda Cynon Taf for many years and it won’t be tolerated anymore! The careless littering carried out by many young people is illegal and causes problems for residents and the Streetcare Team. Litter in the streets has a detrimental impact on the environment and public health,” said Nigel Wheeler, Service Director for Streetcare at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

”As well as creating unsightly environmental conditions, the offence can attract vermin. In addition, the clean up costs of the increased litter and waste places a financial burden on the local authority, which inevitably ends up being passed on to taxpayers.

“The Streetcare Enforcement Team will do all in its power to eradicate this type of behaviour in the Country Borough in an effort to make Rhondda Cynon Taf a clean and safe place to visit, work and live in.”

For further information on the services provided by the dedicated Streetcare teams call 01443 827700 or visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/streetcare.