Council cracks down on smokers as 13 fined in last month for dropping butts
CIGARETTE ends are litter – and many are finding that out this summer with 13 £75 fines handed out since the beginning of July.
The city council is having a crack down on litter and is finding that most of it is caused by cigarettes.
Half a sack of litter was picked up from the grass area in Dix’s Field by the entrance to the car park and, apart from a few dead leaves, the majority of it was made up of cigarette ends.
Louise Harvey, Street Scene manager for Exeter, said: “There must have been about 2,000 cigarette ends and, in that area, they get wedged between the brick pavers and it is practically impossible to get them out. And this area had only been cleaned the previous week.”
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Mrs Harvey believes that part of the problem is that people don’t see cigarette ends as litter.
She explained: “We had one lady who was seen throwing a cigarette end out of her car. She was given a fixed penalty notice which means a fine of £75.
“She phoned us afterwards to apologise and to say that she just didn’t think and said that now she keeps a small tin in her car for the stubs and is telling all her friends who smoke that throwing ends out is not what they should be doing.
“We have a convert!”
Of the 13 fines that have been handed out in the past month and a half, 99per cent of them have been for a tossed away cigarette stub.
Mrs Harvey said: “We have only one enforcement officer and he is really busy as he has to deal not just with litter but with stray dogs and bins left on pavements.
“And he tells me that cigarettes are the main problem at the moment.
“We do have a few instances of people eating on Cathedral Green and they just get up and walk away leaving their rubbish behind.
“They are in the minority however and I would like to thank all those people who do dispose of their rubbish properly.
“There are plenty of bins around, including bins for cigarette ends and people can always stub their cigarette out on top of an ordinary bin and then put it in the bin if they are not near a cigarette bin.”