It is feared that extensive littering from fast food outlets around one of Barnsley’s key commercial development zones could deter potential investors from moving into the area.
The Junction 36 development zone, which includes the old Rockingham Colliery site, off the Dearne towns link road at Birdwell is one of the town’s main job creation areas and Barnsley Council has already been successful in attracting businesses to take up sites there.
Among the industrial units are fast food outlets, with more in the pipeline, but councillors are concerned about the among of waste dumped by customers and the impact it has on both residents and potentially on future investors.
But they have been told that attempts to persuade staff at two of the outlets to volunteer on litter picking operations have failed and one has been reported for fly posting on the A61, to advertise the business.
Barnsley Council’s South Area Council works across that area and employs a Tidy Team to help improve the environment and a report on the progress with that service said there had been several litter picks, involving scouts and residents in the area.
But it went on: “All attempts to involve employees from Taco Bell and Dunkin Donuts have not yet produced any volunteers – the businesses seem to be generating a substantial amount of litter and if the situation does not improve we may need the assistance of local councillors and/or enforcement to involve them in the reduction of waste coming from their premises.
“An enforcement issue was reported regarding Taco Bell fly posting along the lamp posts of Birdwell.”
Coun Chris Lamb told the meeting: “It is the businesses that generate the litter in the first place and some steadfastly refuse to send their staff out to do the ‘tidy’.
“Going down Alverley Way, the houses are gorgeous but is a total tip. There is no denying where the waste is coming from, we really need to do something.”
Coun Jim Andrews contrasted the situation with McDonalds a short distance away at the A616 roundabout in Tankersley, where there were litter bins for customers which were emptied by staff.
“It is to be regenerated but that will make a lot of litter around Alverley Way. We are wanting big businesses at Junction 36 and if there is litter strewn around it might just put them off.”
SAC chairman, Coun Mick Stowe, said: “If McDonalds can do it, why not KFC, Taco Bell and Dunkin Donuts?
“They are franchised in some and national organisations in others, can we look at a more strategic approach?
Council officers are now take advice on what action is open to the authority to try to control the situation.