203Thousands of people were educated about throwing rubbish from vehicles and dozens were caught in the act as part of a campaign to drive out litter in County Durham.

Durham County Council joined forces with a number of organisations throughout October in an attempt to tackle the issue of litter being discarded from cars, vans and other vehicles.

The education, engagement and enforcement campaign, which targeted six hotpots throughout the county:

  • raised awareness of the problems caused by rubbish from vehicles
  • encouraged people to dispose of litter from vehicles responsibly
  • reduced the amount of litter from vehicles in hotspots
  • saw more than 2,500 children in 10 primary schools educated about responsible rubbish disposal
  • saw a further 320 young people in four sixth forms and further education colleges visited, targeting potential new drivers
  • identified people throwing litter from their vehicles, resulting in 31 fixed penalty notices, 29 advisory letters and a further 13 ongoing investigations
  • visited 20 fast food restaurants asking them to report anyone seen littering from vehicles
  • saw 400 education packs handed out to new drivers at test centres and through 172 driving instructors
  • informed drivers at MOT test centres, car dealerships, petrol stations and through driving instructors.

Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, Durham County Council, said: “Litter from vehicles is a major issue, not only because it is a blight on our surroundings, but it also has a big impact on wildlife and the staff who have to clean it up as they are exposed to the risks.

“Cleaning it up and keeping our roadsides and remote areas clear of rubbish is also costly and these resources could be put to use in other ways.

“Campaigns like ‘Driving out car litter in County Durham’ are a great means of educating people of all ages about the importance of proper waste disposal from vehicles and keeping our surroundings clean.”

Vehicle littering offences can be reported online at www.durham.gov.uk/litter or by calling 03000 261 000.

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