A whole year’s worth of litter dumped in Sheffield bins in just a few weeks, says council

Council teams have been working through the night to empty litter bins across Sheffield after an explosion in the amount of rubbish.

The rubbish clear up at Endcliffe Park.

Liberal Democrat and Green Party councillors quizzed Labour chiefs about overflowing bins. The problem was highlighted last week when the council and volunteers removed seven tonnes of litter after crowds flocked to Endcliffe Park.

Cabinet member for environment, Coun Mark Jones, said all highway litter bins had level sensors fitted inside them which automatically generate a report at 3pm every day. If the bin has more than 70 per cent litter, the council gets an alert.

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He said: “The pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge in terms of highway litter bin emptying, as the shift to outdoor socialising and a huge uptake in the use of single-use items for food and drink has driven demand far above usual.

“There have been months in the last year where we have emptied more bins than we would do in a typical full year.

“Our teams have worked throughout all of the lockdowns, including six teams working overnight on bin emptying every night, to respond to this challenge.”

Coun Mary Lea, Cabinet member for parks, said last summer had seen an unprecedented number of people using parks and rubbish accumulating and the council was bracing itself for similar this year.

“We have already begun to increase the provision of bins, both permanent and temporary, as the warmer weather has started to bring people back to our green spaces.

“We are keen to look at innovative ways of encouraging people to either dispose of their litter responsibly or to take it home.

“In order to help people stay safe as restrictions continue to be eased we also have a small number of patrols in parks to encourage people to use the spaces safely with appropriate social distancing and to support good practices for litter management.

“We have a small seasonal workforce who join us through the summer and this year we have planned for additional litter requirements in most of our parks and will use our staff to support this.”