When a return to the past is not a good thing

Written by: Recycling Waste World | Published:

A survey published by Keep Britain Tidy earlier this week on the cleanliness of England has revealed a troubling link between litter, deprivation and crime.

A survey published by Keep Britain Tidy earlier this week on the cleanliness of England has revealed a troubling link between litter, deprivation and crime. 


According to the charity, the survey shows that those who live in the poorest places in England tend to have the dirtiest streets.


“And on top of that the survey shows that poor levels of cleanliness are also associated with increases in other low-level crime and social disorder,” added Keep Britain Tidy.


It sounds positively Dickensian, doesn’t it? when, according to Dr Andrzej Diniejko at Warsaw University, Charles Dickens exposed the “ills of the industrial society including class division, poverty, bad sanitation, privilege and meritocracy.” Is the economic wheel turning full circle and worryingly what does it say about 21st century England?


“In the least deprived areas, only 3% of sites fall below an acceptable standard for litter but this percentage rises to 28% in the most deprived areas - nine times worse,” said Keep Britain Tidy before adding: “The survey also shows that the places that have the lowest levels of litter, fly-posting and graffiti are also those least at risk from crime. The overall presence of crime is far greater on streets where litter, graffiti and fly-posting are present.”


So on top of worrying about England falling behind the rest of the UK when it comes to recycling levels, we now have to think of the social effect this is having on communities where some, either through ignorance or laziness, do not bother or can’t recycle. As the charity’s Phil Barton said: “This report should act as a wake-up call to action.”


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