Published: 17:07, 14 January 2022
| Updated: 18:56, 14 January 2022
A council under siege with dealing with litter and waste is hitting back with a new campaign.
Maidstone Borough Council’s (MBC) initiative aims to encourage people to keep Maidstone clean and tidy.
Council teams had to remove more than 1,950 tonnes of waste in 2020 which had been illegally dumped onto roads. The hotspots were the A249 and A229.
This figure is a 250% increase in the amount of rubbish found the previous year.
The new campaign is called #CleanUpMaidstone.
Council officials also hope to catch litterers red-handed with pilot camera technology, costing £6,000 and called LitterCam, which is reaching its testing stage. It identifies people who drop rubbish from their vehicles.
Cllr Simon Webb, deputy chairman of the communities, housing and environment committee said: "This not just about simply asking people to pick up litter, but more about saying we want to work with our communities and change the way they behave and think about littering as a whole.
"It is the responsibility of us all to look after where we live."
Posters have been put up around the town centre which use parodies of popular TV programmes such as Line of Duty and The Masked Singer to remind people fines may be issued for littering.
Council officers successfully applied more than 250 enforcement actions between January 2020 and September 2021 for waste offences and a further 45 vehicles were seized by the team.
Over the years of the council's attempts to reduce littering, the most bizarre item they discovered was a fully grown male dead wallaby, found along the A20.
Red-necked wallabies have been in Britain for more than a century and are usually spotted in back gardens or along country lanes.
Councillor Webb added: “The MBC teams work hard to combat the issues of waste across the borough, but the simple fact is that people need to take responsibility for their actions too.
“The council will not tolerate those who continue to carry out these offences and they need to realise the impact of littering, fly-tipping and other crimes have on our urban and rural environments.
"Isn’t it time we all worked together and help to #CleanUpMaidstone?”