Westminster Cleans Up Its Act

Villiers Street: a 500 metre street connecting The Strand to the Embankment, home to two tube station entrances, three pubs, one nightclub, eleven fast food stores and one £1million a year littering problem. It seems that Westminster Council have had enough of their litter problem, because they have teamed up with a charity named Hubbub to change people’s attitudes towards littering.

“We have to persuade people to change their habits. It used to be socially acceptable to drink and drive. Now it’s not. It’s still acceptable to drop chewing gum,” said a spokesperson for Westminster Council, “littering should be made socially unacceptable in the same way. The big stick does not work. The goal has to be a complete change of attitude.”

So far the initiative looks to have been a success, and for the next 6 months these measures continue to take place across Westminster…

– ‘Gumdrop on the Go’
Passers-by will be handed mini portable gumdrops, small pink ‘bins’ fitted onto a keyring in which people can temporarily deposit their chewing gum. These can then later be emptied into a gumdrop bin for recycling, these are located in key areas throughout Westminster.
– ‘Chew Is It?’ Collage
There is also a collage where gum-chewers can deposit their gum on specially placed crosses (kind of like a join-the-dots) to reveal a famous face. Guesses can then be texted to a free number to be rewarded with a fun fact.
– ‘My Street is Your Street’ Gallery
Hubbub has also started an online gallery of Villiers Street residents in a bid to encourage people to take pride in the area.
– ‘Talking Rubbish’ Bins
Audio bins have been placed around Westminster and Villiers Street. Some rubbish will be rewarded with the sound of applause, others with a sneeze or a grateful burp.

How Can You Help The Littering Problem?

  • Set an example: don’t litter!
  • Every day pick up one piece of litter.
  • Every week, be sure to clear all the litter in front of your home or workplace.
  • Do you own a construction business? Make sure you take measures to reduce littering: use snow fencing around demolition zones to prevent debris escaping, ensure that your trucks are always covered and provide construction workers with trash containers.
  • Smokers! Before you light up, locate a place to dispose of your fag-butt, or alternatively carry a pocket ashtray.