LITTER louts have turned Sheffield’s sun-drenched parks into ‘bombsites’ - strewn with drinks cans and bottles, plastic bags, and disposable barbecues.
Sheffield Council said since the heatwave began street cleaners have had to be diverted from other duties specifically to tidy parks each morning.
Managers said the problem is having a ‘major impact’.
Richard Eyre, Sheffield Council’s head of city centre management, said: “Clearing up on this scale has a major impact on our limited resources, and it means having to divert important cleaning work from other locations.
“We intend to take stronger action against those who want to spoil our parks and open spaces.”
One street cleaner told The Star: “You should see the parks first thing after people have been gathering in the evenings. They look like bombsites. Devonshire Green is the worst.”
Star reader Rebecca Haverty, who was so appalled by the state of Devonshire Green she took its photo, said: “I walk past Devonshire Green most mornings on my way to work. After a sunny day the rubbish can be really bad.
“But friends near Meersbrook Park and Endcliffe Park say it has been just as bad near them.
“I’m really appalled and disgusted with the people who leave this kind of mess behind them.
“It’s not fair on other people who want to use the parks and find them covered in glass and leftover food. And it’s not fair on all of us who have to pay for council workers to clear it up every day.
“Money is being spent picking up rubbish that people should take home with them - or at least put in a bin.”
Ashley Charlesworth, who runs Endcliffe Park Café, said: “People ought to have more respect for such beautiful places than to leave their rubbish lying about. It doesn’t take much to take it home, or put it in a bin.
“What’s worse are the people who ‘dispose’ of their disposable barbecues by putting them in the park bins when they are still lit. It happens every year, and every year we have fires and the fire brigade have to come out - it’s a total waste of resources.”
John Brighton, of The Friends of Millhouses Park, said fines were the ‘only way to stop the problem’.
And Flora Owen, secretary of The Friends of the Porter Valley, added: “We are noticing more litter. Some people put all their rubbish in bags - and then leave the bags behind.
“One of the worst problems at Endcliffe Park is disposable barbecues, because they also heat the ground leaving bald patches in the grass.”
Sheffield Council said it has no figures for the extra costs incurred because staff are being diverted from other areas rather than extra workers being hired.
But the council has added extra bins and black bags at Devonshire Green and at Weston Park.
The council also said enforcement was ‘not straightforward’ because officers would have to watch people leaving rubbish behind before they could issue a fixed penalty notice.
SHOULD PARK LITTER LOUTS BE FINED?
“I think officials should follow offenders home and drop the litter through their letterboxes - and they should be fined.”
Stuart Tingle, aged 61, retired gas engineer, from Burncross.
“Fining is probably a good idea but they should also educate people to make sure they use bins and look after parks.”
John Jones, aged 50, customer service adviser, from Lodge Moor.
“Parks are beautiful and people who drop litter should be fined heavily and made to pick it up.”
Pat Lomas, aged 68, retired cleaner, from Littledale.
“People who drop litter should have a small fine but nothing too drastic. You don’t want too many bins because they look an eyesore.”
Ben Taylor, aged 20, student, from Broomhill.