Litter louts branded Lothians’ ‘secret disgrace’

Two-thirds of people have seen rubbish deliberately dropped in the last three months. Picture: Julie Bull
Two-thirds of people have seen rubbish deliberately dropped in the last three months. Picture: Julie Bull
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NEW research has exposed an endemic litter lout problem in the Lothians – with two-thirds of people having seen rubbish deliberately dropped in the last three months.

Clean Up Scotland, the national litter campaign run by Keep Scotland Beautiful, has released damning research which reveals the extent of the problem scarring the Lothians.

The YouGov commissioned research showed 70 per cent of people living in the Lothians had seen litter dropped, either accidentally or on purpose, in the past quarter.

Now out-of-control louts have been branded the ­region’s “secret disgrace” after it emerged the dirty nuisance costs the country tens of millions of pounds – with local authorities in the Lothians footing a significant portion of that bill.

The shocking study has ­revealed the anti-social blight has forced local authorities to spend a combined £78 million to tackle the menace.

Jeremy Purvis, campaign director of Clean Up Scotland, described the findings as “shocking”.

He said: “A full seven-in-ten people here are seeing litter being dropped – some of the estimated 250 million pieces of litter dropped each year on Scottish streets, parks and beaches.

“Litter has a damaging effect on the Lothians, not just in terms of its visual beauty but socially and financially.

“That’s the taxes of the very people who are dropping it in the first place, but it also wastes the money of the ­responsible people who never pollute their streets. If ever there was a time when such council money could be spent on other valuable services, this is it.

“The people who take the decision to drop litter and pollute their community do a disservice to the Lothians. They let down their communities, waste other people’s money and contribute to what is fast becoming Scotland’s secret disgrace.

“The Clean Up Scotland campaign is taking action and calling for a revolution in Scotland’s attitude and behaviour towards litter, so that dropping litter becomes as socially unacceptable in future as drink-driving is today.”

It comes just months after residents and officials were left “disgusted” by the “inexcusable” and “appalling” amount of litter left on city centre streets on the weekend of the Edinburgh Marathon.

In March, the News told how a dozen extra environmental wardens were being recruited to target litter-strewn hot-spots across the Capital.

A Keep Scotland Beautiful inspection report also revealed streets in Edinburgh’s city centre and Leith are well short of meeting national standards.

Princes Street and the surrounding area scored just 60 in the latest Cleanliness Index Monitoring System [CIMS] survey, lagging well behind the target score of 72. Leith was the next worst area, scoring 63 in the survey. The poor showing led to council bosses hiring an additional 12 wardens to tackle the scourge.