Womble launches Merton Council’s “Bin it” campaign

What: Haydon the Womble launches Merton Council’s anti-litter campaign “Bin it don’t sling it”
Where: Wimbledon Broadway, outside Centre Court shopping centre
When: 2pm on 9 October 2008

Special guest, Haydon the Womble, will be launching Merton Council’s anti-litter campaign on Thursday 9 October at 2pm outside Centre Court Shopping Centre on Wimbledon Broadway.

Called “Bin it don’t sling it”, the campaign hopes to appeal particularly to young people and make them think about the consequences of dropping rubbish on the street.
The official mascot for local football team AFC Wimbledon, Haydon was keen to be the face of the campaign given his Womble heritage of being strongly anti-litter and pro-recycling.

Three designs for lamp post banners are displayed on Wimbledon Broadway and in Mitcham town centre. Posters at various sites around the borough will carry the following messages:
1. Don’t get yourself in a sticky situation: Dropping chewing gum ruins your streets, seats and clothes.
2. Don’t be a teenage dirtbag: Dropping sweet wrappers is a filthy habit.
3. Dropping food makes you a rat’s best friend: Dropping fast food attracts rats, foxes and vermin, bringing disease onto our streets.

A brand new website http://www.merton.gov.uk/binit will go live on 9 October too. Visitors to the site will be able to check out how high they can score on the litter quiz. There will also be games to play, posters to download and visitors will be able to have photographs of their clean-ups uploaded onto the site.

Merton employs 120 street sweepers who are out all hours keeping our streets clean. A team of enforcement officers regularly patrols the borough and has the power to fine anyone caught dropping litter £75. Committed to tackling litter offences the council has collected £10,575 in fines from the beginning of 2007 up to the present day.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor David Simpson said: “Every year we spend over £3 million on street cleansing and clearing our roads of rubbish such as chewing gum, sweet wrappers and fast food containers that people just drop without thinking. That’s a lot of money we would prefer to spend on our youth centres, schools or parks. Research shows that 13-16 year olds are the worst litter culprits and through this campaign we hope to appeal to that age group and younger to try and change their habits.

“We always try to put the needs of our residents first and provide them with value for money. As well as costing a lot, dropping rubbish on the streets makes the place dirty for everyone. We are so lucky to live in a place with many beautiful green spaces and great places to shop and spend our leisure time. Let’s be proud of our borough and look after Merton.”


Note to editors
The research referred to in the quote comes from ENCAMS (environmental campaigns) which is an environmental charity that campaigns directly to the public. It is best known for its Keep Britain Tidy campaign, which has been running for over fifty years. http://www.encams.org/home/index.asp?nav=top