A staggering 11 tonnes of rubbish was left on Brighton and Hove beaches yesterday, the most ever collected in a single day and almost four times the summer average.
The council’s six-strong team of beach cleaning staff are starting at 5am each morning to clear the mountain of waste but the amount of litter left for them to clean is stretching them to the limit, the council says.
Binmen and park rangers have been seconded to help out, with more collections and 30 more bins in the busiest areas, including Hove Lawns.
Brighton and Hove City Council is also hiring extra litter pickers and the city’s litter cops are now working an extra hour a day patrolling the seafront and handing out £150 fines.
Councillor Anne Pissaridou, chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee, said: “We’re doing our very best to clear the massive amount of rubbish and waste that’s being left on our seafront and in our parks, but we’re already stretched to the limit.
“We’re hoping these new measures help with the constant battle we face every day, caused by people that frankly don’t care about other people, the environment or our wildlife and marine life.
“Our message is clear – we have almost 400 bins along the seafront and many bins in our parks that people can use for their rubbish. If the closest bin is full, we’re asking people to find one that isn’t, or take their rubbish home.
“There’s no excuse. If they’re prepared to carry it onto the beach or into the park they must take responsibility for the litter and take it away and dispose of it responsibly.”
Cllr Pissaridou said the council was still being affected by many Cityclean and City Parks staff still self-isolating due to Covid-19, so were having to move staff around to fill gaps.
She added: “Not only are we redeploying staff to help with the beaches and parks, we also have to ensure the normal collections of residents bins, recycling and garden waste are up to speed to ensure the city is clean.”
This morning, health secretary Matt Hancock said the Government may consider closing beaches if people continued to flock to tourist resorts after a major incident was declared in Bournemouth yesterday.
However, the Local Government Association said closing some beaches would just push the problem elsewhere, and Councillor Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board called on the Government to educate people “on the specific risks posed by ignoring social distancing in tourist environments”.
Earlier this week, prime minister Boris Johnson said seaside MPs should “show some guts” and champion their resorts as a place for people to visit.