The Star Says: Let’s take pride in cleaning up our city

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Today we announce details of a major plan to rid Sheffield of litter and take pride in their neighbourhoods.

The subject of litter-dropping, fly-tipping and dog fouling is a regular case for discussion on these pages and online on our website.

RELATED ARTICLE: Sheffield Council launches £100k anti-litter campaign

It is an issue that provokes strong opinions and can drive people to despair as they witness their neighbourhood disappearing beneath a pile of other people’s waste.

Creating this mess is down to pure selfishness on the part of the offender.

You can try and think of an excuse for it happening but it is a futile exercise.

Here are some facts about the scheme.

The £100,000 Clean Sheffield project will run for a year and target littering, dog fouling and fly-tipping – all the source of complaints to Sheffield Council.

Across Sheffield around 9,250 tonnes of dropped litter is collected and disposed of each year – the equivalent of seven family cars.

Keeping the city clean costs £3.5m annually and there are more than 200 people who work on keeping the city clean for the council.

The new campaign will include education sessions in schools, organised litter picks, a drive to get people to report the problem and also to pick up litter if they spot it. Education is the most important element to all this. Yes, it is vital that schools will be included but it shouldn’t be up to just teachers to teach children not to drop litter.

That kind of good manners should be instilled at home as a family. Sadly it is quite often parents’ behaviour who the children copy. And that is why the issue is difficult to resolve over the short term.

If adults are dropping litter as they walk, fly-tipping rather than using the proper facilities and allowing their dogs to foul pavements and parks then it is obvious that their children will repeat this behaviour.

The vast majority of us want to live in neighbourhoods that are litter free and display a degree of pride in their appearance.

We must not allow the selfish minority to win.

This scheme is the first step to a tidier Sheffield but it must not be here today and gone tomorrow.

Everyone has to work together to enforce the aims of the project. No neighbourhood must be allowed to fall below respectable levels.

We can make Sheffield a more pleasant place to live but we all must play our part.