A new anti-litter team will be out in force from Monday – educating the public on how to avoid being fined for dumping rubbish on the street or fly-tipping.
For the next two weeks the council’s new environment enforcement officers will issue warnings instead of fines when they see someone dropping cigarette butts or litter, or leaving unwanted items on the street or beside a bin.
The team has been brought in-house after the council ended its contract with enforcement firm 3GS.
After the two-week education programme, litter bugs will be fined £75 for dropping cigarettes and £300 for flytipping.
Cllr Gill Mitchell, chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “We’ve brought the officers in-house to ensure there is clearer management of the team and greater accountability.
“As this is a new beginning for the council and the service, we’re taking the opportunity to educate people on their responsibility for keeping our beautiful city clean and tidy.
“We also want to ensure we’re being fair with everyone so will be approaching people in the street, including residents, tourists and students, with advice on how to avoid being fined.
“We will also be dropping in on colleges, universities and language schools to ask them to remind their students on a regular basis how to be fine free."
Cllr Mitchell added: “There is still a large number of people who think throwing a cigarette butt on the ground or down a drain isn’t littering. But the first litters our streets and the second can add to clogging up our drainage system. But anyone caught after our two week education programme will face a £75 fine.
“There are also lots of people who think leaving items they don’t want any more on the street, like furniture, mirrors or mattresses, is fine. But this is fly-tipping and a £300 fine will be issued.”