A town centre street in Wellingborough will remain totally uncleaned this weekend, as part of an experiment to highlight how much litter is dropped every day and the cost of picking it up.
The borough council has teamed up with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy for the experiment, which will see one side of Church Street in the town litter picked as normal, while the other side is left uncleaned.
Towns and cities up and down the country will be joining in, as the ‘Which side of the fence are you on?’ project shows people what happens when councils stop cleaning up after them.
Litter costs almost £1 billion a year to deal with in England. More than £100,000 a year is spent in Wellinborough just on picking up rubbish from the ground.
The experiment this weekend aims to make people think about the unnecessary cost of picking up after people who litter.
Chairman of Wellingborough Council’s community committee, Cllr Peter Morrall, said: “People don’t realise just how much litter is picked up every day from the streets of our town and villages, and, more importantly, the huge cost of this.
“It’s only because we spend more than £100,000 every year cleaning up after people that we’re not knee deep in rubbish.
“We need people to see the harsh reality of what happens when a place is not cleaned up for them. We want them to think about the ways in which the money it costs to pick up dropped litter could be better spent.
“Living and working in a pleasant and clean environment is incredibly important, but the way to achieve that is not for councils to spend money picking up after people, but instead for people not to drop the litter in the first place.
“It’s not fair that so much taxpayers’ money is spent on something that could be so easily prevented.
“That’s why we’re taking part in this experiment, in the hope that it will make people realise that litter is everyone’s problem.
“It’s time for people to decide which side of the fence they are on, and if they want to be part of the problem, or part of the solution.”
The whole of Church Street, in Wellingborough’s town centre, will be cleaned as normal on Friday, November 15.
After that, only the south side of the street will be cleaned over the weekend, with the north side not being cleaned until 6am Monday.