Litter scheme is ‘a waste of money and time’ - Mayor

editorial image

A pilot scheme which seeks to reward responsible citizenship is a “waste of money”, claims the Mayor of Carrick, Alderman Charles Johnston.

The local government authority’s ‘Bin It, Win It!’ initiative offers residents an incentive to properly dispose of dog mess and litter in the borough.

The pilot, which will run from July 1 to September 30, will see Carrickfergus Council enforcement officers take the details of those residents and enter them into a prize draw to win a £50 voucher.

However, Ald Johnston suggested that efforts could be better spent educating residents to keep the borough clean.

Speaking at Monday night’s meeting of the Environmental Services Committee, he said: “I think £50 coming out of our budget for this is ridiculous and a waste of money.

“I don’t think it will encourage people who are dropping litter or not picking up dog fouling not to do it.

“To have our enforcement officer handing out cards to get people’s details is a waste of time; how many people are actually going to bring these cards back?”

“We need to concentrate more on educating people not to drop litter. If it works for the borough and makes the streets cleaner I’ll accept it but I don’t think it will work.”

Meanwhile, Councillor John Stewart queried the availability of enforcement officers to carry out their new duties under the scheme.

“Do we have the manpower for this? Enforcement officers are already pressed for time as it is,” he said.

However, director of Environmental Services Alan Barkley confirmed that the scheme would be administered as part of the officers’ normal patrols.

“The idea behind this scheme is to both educate and reinforce,” he added.