Brighton and Hove City Council's leader said he was furious and astonished after the highest ever amount of rubbish was collected from the city's beach in one weekend.
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.
The council said its 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 June 25 last year, the council said. Staff who have worked at the council for more than 15 years said 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 (Monday 19).
Although the council has repeatedly called for people to bin their rubbish responsibly or take it home, it says 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 its environmental enforcement officers patrol the beach and seafront handing out fines when they can and giving people advice on disposing of their litter.
However, town hall bosses say one of the main problems in fining people who leave their waste on the beach is catching them. They say no one leaves litter if the officers are around, but do when they’re not.
They say it's one of the reasons CCTV cameras have been installed on the seafront which will help them catch more people who litter.
Cllr 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.”