What a load of rubbish – council clears up record 31 tonnes from beach and seafront

Posted On 19 Jul 2021 at 8:36 pm

A record 31 tonnes of rubbish was collected from the beach and seafront over the weekend, Brighton and Hove City Council said today (Monday 19 July).

The council said: “Council staff removed a staggering 31 tonnes of rubbish from the beach and seafront at the weekend after what’s been described as the biggest and worst two days on record.

“Seafront teams worked constantly from 5am to 9pm each day but were still completely overwhelmed by the amount of rubbish being dumped by the mass crowds of both tourists and locals who flocked to the seafront.

“The previous record for seafront rubbish in one single day was 11 tonnes on (Thursday) 25 June last year.

“However, staff who have worked at the council for more than 15 years say Saturday and Sunday’s collections were even higher both days at 13.6 tonnes and 12.5 tonnes respectively.

“Despite a late evening pick up on Sunday, another five tonnes had accumulated overnight which the council says was collected this morning.

“Although the council has repeatedly called for people to bin their rubbish responsibly or take it home, some residents and tourist are still leaving waste on the beach or dumping it beside an already full bin.”

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “I’m astonished and quite frankly furious at the people that create this kind of mess on our beautiful beach and seafront.

“They are quite happy to visit our beach and city but then have absolutely no respect for it. They should be ashamed.

“They couldn’t care less about the affect they’re having or the environmental damage they’re creating.

“If these people really can’t find a bin then they should take their rubbish home. Leaving waste on the beach or beside a bin is anti-social and they shouldn’t do it.”

Cllr Mac Cafferty added: “Although we’ve put out extra bins, more staff, more vehicles, are carrying out more collections and installed CCTV cameras, the sheer volume of people dumping their rubbish sees our beach overwhelmed.”

The council said that its environmental enforcement officers patrolled the beach and seafront handing out fines when they could as well as giving people advice on disposing of their litter.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

But town hall bosses said that one of the main problems in fining people who left their rubbish on the beach was catching them.

The council said: “No one leaves litter if the officers are around but do when they’re not.

“It’s one of the reasons CCTV cameras have been installed on the seafront which will help them catch more people who litter.”

Councillor Mac Cafferty said: “Keeping our beaches and seafront clean, tidy and litter-free is everyone’s responsibility, not just the council’s.

“There are more than 500 bins along the seafront, so there’s absolutely no excuse for leaving litter on the beach or beside an already overflowing bin.”

  1. Billy Short Reply

    We always read this same story after a hot and sunny weekend – and it has been going on for years now, and with Covid rules being the new source for the anger.

    The report, here or in the Argus, is always one of outrage at the amount of litter left on our seafront. (And indeed, we all hate this visible rubbish).
    And then the current council leader is always quoted as saying how ‘disappointed’ he or she is with the mess left, and then they invariably apologise on behalf of their seafront workers, who were slaving away to clear up the unnecessary litter.

    And yet this mess, shameful as it is, is entirely predictable.
    It’s time we had a council that faced up to the truth of the situation, and not the trotted-out PR version.

    How could they not anticipate this:

    1) The forecast was for hot weather, after a long period of colder or wet conditions – so we have lots of locals, heading to the beach.
    2) It’s mid July and yet people are not allowed to holiday abroad – so we have lots of visitors.
    3) Some are still working from home, and are desperate to get out and to socialise in an open air space.
    4) Term time has ended for colleges and sixth form pupils have finished exams.
    5) It was actually so hot that the beach was the only place to find fresh and cooler air.
    6) Covid regs mean that the world buys more takeaways, and spends less time indoors.
    7) New outdoor bars with double the amount of outdoor seating mean that Brighton seafront is party central for drinkers.
    8) Once the party area is established, some will buy their booze from the shops and not the organised bars, and they’ll sit on the beach. It’s cheaper, and currently safer.
    9) Some people when drunk aren’t always mindful of their litter, and these are our real beach demons. CCTV and fines aren’t going to catch them. Why even mention those measures?
    10) The seafront is no longer just the place for those with picnics, and no longer the sole preserve of those who might indeed ‘take their litter home’ afterwards. Most people are out, and they buy food when hungry, and they move on to the next bar, and so they want to use the bins as they move on. If the bins are full, then is this their fault? How far are you expected to carry a sticky fish and chip box, or your empty cans?
    11) Indeed, if you live in a flat, as most of us beach locals do, then what would you do with those sticky food boxes if you took them home? In my case, we have no recycling collection from our house of five flats. (As someone who believes in recycling, I have to walk half a mile to do that.)
    12) The amount of rubbish collected on the seafront is then a simple if unfortunate mathematical function of all the above, and entirely predictable. And the solution? – On a hot and sunny weekend, we need more cleaners and more bin-emptying collections. Not more bins, not more rhetoric or ‘disappointment’.

    13) The true headline here is that this council are too inefficient or too big – or too cash strapped – an organisation to quickly adapt to dealing with entirely predictable problems. Stop wasting our time with these repetitive articles.

  2. Greens Out Reply

    These people have no respect for our city said Phelim.

    Pot. Kettle.

  3. Derek Wright Reply

    What about having the take away food outlet businesses that produce the waste to have their own sponsored bins on the seafront that they empty? A sign at each outlet ‘Avoid a £150 fine by using the bins we provide or bring back the packing to us to deal with. Please dont not leave it on the beach as we are made responsible to clear it up

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