Glasgow 'war on litter' as public urged to help pressure council on funding

A Glasgow trade union is urging members of the public to work with them to demand more funding for public services across the city as they "tackle their war on litter".

The GMB says residents must work with them to lobby their local councillors and ask them to “challenge” the funding made available to Glasgow from the Scottish government.

Recent pictures taken by members of the cleansing team show streets strewn with litter, black bin bags, cardboard boxes, and even a kids tricycle dumped on the side of the road.

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They say these pictures have been taken from the south, east and west of the city.

Chris Michell, GMB convenor says he has been encouraging members to document what they find. He has also raised concerns that commercial units are not disposing of their waste properly.

He said: “The GMB has been advising the cleansing teams to take pictures of the litter they find when they are out there doing their runs.

“I think the issue is people becoming complacent. No one cares any more because they don’t have the public service they deserve.

“The public think - why should I bother when no one else does and it is our members that see the impact of this.

“Some streets haven’t been swept in months because there is a lack of staff and engagement with the public when it comes to putting litter in the bin.

“Rubbish just ends up on the street for weeks at a time and eventually the animals rip open the bin bags and it is up to our members to clear it up.

"Trade unions and members of the public must come together and ask local councillors to challenge the government for more funding to public services.

"We deserve a clean and safe city not a war zone of litter."

A report sent recently to Glasgow City Council says that in 2023/24 officers carried out 2,642 visits to commercial units where 265 (10%) were found to have inadequate arrangements in place for waste disposal at the time of the visit.

A spokesman for the council said: “Glasgow continues to have Scotland’s largest street cleansing operation and spends more per head of population on street cleansing than almost every other local authority in the country.

“We continue to deploy available resources as efficiently and as effectively as possible and front-line environmental services remain a key priority for the council.

“Thanks to recent recruitment and the introduction of deep clean teams, we now have 470 staff working routinely to remove waste from public spaces all across Glasgow.

“The people of Glasgow have a crucial role in the maintenance of the city and the vast majority of people act responsibly.

“But a minority of people unfortunately drop litter every three seconds in Glasgow, fly-tip waste and damage our shared environment.’

“We work closely with communities across Glasgow to keep neighbourhoods litter free.

“Our network of neighbourhood improvement volunteers give up tens of thousands of volunteer hours to lift litter.

“There are 56 litter hubs around the city where community groups can access equipment for litter picks in their neighbourhood.

“Our Litter Lotto scheme has incentivised Glasgow citizens to bin thousands of pieces of litter since the scheme started last year.

“Businesses have a legal obligation have appropriate waste management arrangements in place or they may ultimately face enforcement action.

“If anyone is aware of the businesses operating without appropriate waste management arrangements they should report these operators to our environmental health team.”

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