11 tonnes of rubbish left on Sussex beach in one day - the most ever recorded
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Thousands of people descended on Brighton's parks and beaches last week to enjoy the hot weather.
A city councillor has accused the litterers of not caring about other people, the environment or wildlife.
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said beach cleaning staff, some of whom have worked there for more than 15 years, said the 11 tonnes of rubbish was the most they had collected in a single day. The average at this time of year is around three tonnes, they said.
The spokesman said: "The city is having to cope with a daily tidal wave of tourists and locals descending on the city’s parks and beaches, some of whom are leaving their rubbish behind them rather than finding a bin or taking it home.
"Although beach cleaning staff are starting at 5am every morning to clear the mountain of waste, they say they’re ‘stretched to the limit’.
"Many City Parks and Cityclean staff have had to stop their normal work and become litter pickers to help supplement the collections that are still taking place."
In Parliament on Wednesday, Hove and Portslade MP Peter Kyle asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson what the Government would be doing to keep beach communities safe as lockdown restrictions are lifted and tourists naturally return to the seaside.
The Prime Minister told Mr Kyle and MPs of other seafront constituencies to 'show some guts and determination and champion their communities', but stopped short of answering Mr Kyle's question or offering a solution.
The council has set out a series of measures to help tackle the ‘constant battle’ of waste and rubbish being left on our beaches and parks every day.
The new measures include:
• Additional bin collections along the seafront
• More collections in our larger parks throughout the day and weekends
• 30 more large bins in the heavy footfall areas, including Hove lawns
• Enforcement officers patrolling the beach an extra hour a day, until 8pm, and handing out £150 on the spot fines
• An extra truck to concentrate on collecting litter on the seafront
• Extra staff to clear litter on the seafront and in parks
• A recruitment drive is also taking place
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 who 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 their litter and take it away and dispose of it responsibly.”
Ms Pissaridou said the council was still being affected by many Cityclean and City Parks staff 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.”
On Thursday evening, police were forced to disperse a large crowd of teenagers who had filled Hove Lawns, left litter and sparked small pockets of violence.
Brighton and Hove is far from the only beach-based city or town that has been affected, with other local authorities including Bournemouth and Dorset seeing huge numbers of people on their beaches.