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Coventry Improves Its' Litter Record

Metropolitan borough council in the West Midlands are getting better when it comes to litter – according to a new survey by environmental charity, Tidy Britain Group.

Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton all recorded a better score in this year’s survey than they did in a similar study back in 1995. Solihull were one of only two councils whose tally dropped, though they did manage to keep their place in the top five. Dudley, despite an impressive nine point rise since ’95, still finished bottom of the Mets Borough League Table.

Trained surveyors from the Tidy Britain Group surveyed 36 metropolitan boroughs across the UK, between September and October, last year. That meant scouring a staggering five thousand streets and 786 council owned sites (such as parks, sports grounds and car-parks). The area they looked at was within a one kilometre diameter circle of the Borough’s main Admin centre.

The sites examined were graded from A, totally free of rubbish, to D, heavily littered. The surveyors noted what kind of litter they found, recorded how much dog fouling, graffiti and vandalism they discovered and even checked out the number of bins in each street!

Here’s what they found in the West Midlands:

No Fly’s On Brum
Birmingham recorded a massive decrease of 23% in the amount of fly-posting found. Graffiti and dog fouling were found in fewer places than in the 1995 survey. However, smoking-related litter blighted Birmingham’s final score. Ninety-nine per cent of the areas surveyed contained butts, cig boxes or matches- only Trafford in Greater Manchester fared worse.

Coventry Consistently Clean
Ninety-seven per cent of the areas looked at Coventry were graded B, which means that apart from small items of rubbish, the surveyed area was relatively clean. There was no vandalism or dog fouling and fly-posting was spotted at only 9% of the survey sites. Graffiti was also found in 11% fewer areas than in ’95.

Improving Dudley Still Picks-up Wooden Spoon
Despite a nine point improvement on their score of 1995, Dudley still propped-up the Mets Borough League. There were more drinks containers and fast food packaging found in Dudley than in any of the other boroughs surveyed. Dudley also had the most areas graded C and below.

Sandwell Fairs Pretty Well In Litter Survey
Ninety-two of the areas surveyed rated Grade B, meaning that aside from small bits of litter, Sandwell was fairly clean. The were fewer areas blighted with graffiti (down 12%) and fly-posting (down 6%) than in 1995. Smoking-related litter was found in 93% of areas and fast food packaging at 22%.

Wonderful Solihull Is West Mids Cleanest
Solihull can claim the title of cleanest West Midlands Met borough – its tally of 68 ensuring it came equal fourth in the Met borough League. No vandalism was found in any of the sites surveyed and the amount of areas where dog fouling was discovered was down 2% on the 1995 score.

Sweet Smell Of Success For Walsall
Walsall bucked a national trend, by being one of only three councils to record a decrease in the amount of sweet wrappers found in its surveyed sites. There was also a drop in the amount of smoking-related litter, although it was still found at 93% of sites looked at. Significantly, no areas looked at in Walsall were graded below B, a remarkably consistent score.

Matches And Butts Blunt Wolverhampton’s Progress
Wolverhampton improved on its 1995 score by an impressive four points and with dog fouling very low and 14% less graffiti and 22% less fly-posting found than in the last survey, Wolverhampton should be justifiably pleased with its results. However, smoking-related litter was found at a staggering 99% of the areas looked at.

Simon Chapman, Tidy Britain Group Regional Director for the Midlands and Thames Valley, said:

"The results of the survey suggest that Metropolitan Borough Council in the West Midlands are making real in-raods into tackling the problems of litter and waste. Even where there hasn’t been an improvement on their 1995 performance, high standards are still being maintained.

"There is still too much smoking-related litter being found however, and aside from Walsall sweet wrappers are becoming more prevalent.

"If the good work of these Met Boroughs is to be maintained" continued Simon, "allof us have to play our part in caring for our environment. Councils do not have unlimited resources. Our message remains: don’t drop litter, dispose of your waste properly and help care for your local environment. Only then will we keep the West Midlands clean."


Metropolitan Borough Councils were created as part of the Local Government Act 1972. In 1985, legislation made them almost autonomous. Metropolitan Borough Councils are all unitary and run all the services in their area.

Tidy Britain Group is an independent national charity working for the improvement of local environment. Tidy Britain group aims to encourage individual, corporate and a community responsibility for care of the environment through a variety of campaigns and programmes such as National Spring Clean, People & Places and Britain in Bloom.

More Information:
Peter Gibson/Anne Mower, Tidy Britain Group  01942 612617


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CWN / Environment / Tidy Britain Group / 23 Mar 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM