Croydon to launch Young People Take Pride campaign

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
Children from Castle Hill Academy who are among those trialling the new lesson plans. Pictured here with their garden which they have made from recyclable materials

Croydon Council is preparing to launch the next phase of Don’t Mess With Croydon (DMWC), which aims to put Croydon’s youth at the heart of plans to make the borough cleaner and greener.

A council cabinet report has revealed future plans for its clean streets campaign which combines a crackdown on fly-tipping and littering with encouraging communities to keep their neighbourhoods tidy.

"A key element of the next phase, dubbed DMWC - Young People Take Pride - will focus on young people, educating them on the importance of recycling, disposing of waste responsibly and helping to keep their neighbourhoods tidy. The council has employed a teacher as a dedicated recycling education officer, to develop DMWC lesson plans for schools. The plans link with relevant areas of the curriculum and are currently being trialled," said Stuart Collins, cabinet member for Clean & Green Croydon.

At the same time, the council said it is exploring new ways to reach 18-34 year-olds, including Recycle for London’s campaign. This uses technology, including smartphone apps with recycling-related prompts, to break down the ‘lack of time barrier’ cited by this group.

Collins added: “DMWC is about cracking down on fly-tippers and other offenders – but even more importantly, it’s about teaching people to take responsibility for their rubbish and how the state of their streets impacts their quality of life. And if we start teaching them good habits when they are young, they will stick with them all their life. ”

The cabinet report revealed DMWC is also focusing on boosting Croydon’s recycling rates. Since January, the council’s recycling team has been visiting neighbourhoods in selected areas within the borough. Officers have contacted households, offering information about the council’s recycling services and helping to overcome any barriers to recycling.

The report also highlighted the council’s £1.28m capital investment in the latest street cleansing equipment. Four new compact mechanical street sweepers are said to be already in use and 25 electric vacuum cleaners for street cleansing operatives are expected to arrive on street this summer, with a further 25 to follow later this year. Also, the council said Croydon will benefit from two extra refuse collection vehicles to collect business waste and three 3.5 tonne cage tippers, which are reported to be ideal for housing sites, alleyways and hard to reach flytips. Earlier this year, 80 new solar-powered litter bins arrived in Croydon's busiest locations.

According to Croydon Council, these new measures build on the campaign’s successes to date, which included the council prosecuting a total of 150 fly-tippers and litterers and seizing 23 vehicles, crushing 17 involved in fly-tipping; recruiting 329 clean and green champions to organise 147 community clean ups; and making it easier for residents and businesses to dispose of their waste responsibly. Latest statistics are reported to show that 85% of fly-tips are now cleaned up within 48 hours, compared with 3% before the start of the campaign.

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