Smokers are targeted for litter at pubs
SMOKERS huddling outside pubs in Swinton and stubbing out cigarettes on the ground are being blamed for a major increase in litter problems.
Swinton Environmental Group members say that, since the smoking ban came into force on July 1, the streets have become strewn with fag ends.
Now the group is planning to write to more than a dozen pub landlords in Swinton asking them to make sure smokers use bins provided.
The move comes as the Keep Britain Tidy group revealed 88 per cent of councils in Yorkshire have seen litter levels soar since the ban was introduced.
Smokers have already been warned by Rotherham Council they could face a 75 fine if they are caught dropping their cigarette ends on the ground.
An Environmental Group spokesman said: “A lot of the pubs are on the main road through Swinton and there are cigarette butts all over the ground outside them.
“The problem has definitely got worse since the smoking ban. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings especially the pavements look disgusting.
“We understand people need somewhere to smoke, but all we are asking is that they stub them their cigarettes out properly and use the bins provided.
“We would also like publicans to make more of en effort to clean them up as well.”
Council senior enforcement officer Nicola Cheetham said: “All pubs in Rotherham have been encouraged to provide the necessary bins and the pubs along this route in Swinton have agreed with this and have bins in front of their premises.
“In addition we are arranging for signs to be placed on the pavement outside the pubs to raise awareness and we will be arranging for a mechanical street sweeper to cover the area.”
The council launched a campaign to counteract litter problems caused by the ban.
Ginette Unsworth of Keep Britain Tidy said: “We always knew the smoking ban would have a negative effect on the state of our streets but it surprising just how much.”