Womble launches “Bin it don’t sling it’ campaign

Official mascot of AFC Wimbledon Haydon the Womble launched Merton Council’s anti-litter campaign last week. On the steps of Centre Court shopping centre on Wimbledon Broadway Haydon and pupils from local school Raynes Park High picked up litter filling Haydon’s bin.

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.

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 advertising sites around the borough 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.

Posters are being distributed to secondary and primary schools in the area and the council’s network of neighbourhood wardens are distributing posters to the borough’s local businesses.

To go with the banner and posters the council has also launched a brand new website http://www.merton.gov.uk/binit. The site is in two sections, one aimed at teenagers and the other at a younger audience.

Visitors to the site are able to check out how high they can score on the litter quiz. There are also games to play, posters to colour in and also download. Visitors can have photographs of their clean-ups uploaded onto the site as well as have their comments posted.

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.

The posters and website were designed by Merton-based design agency Down 2 Earth. The agency works with clients large and small from major brands such as TomTom through to local businesses. The founding directors grew up in Merton and were proud to work with the Merton Council on the “Bin it don’t sling it campaign.

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
1. 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
2. ENCAMS research shows that 13-16 year olds are frequent litterers and are happy to admit to littering. Youth-related litter such as drinks cans and fast food litter is on the increase.
3. According to Merton Council’s Annual Residents’ Survey litter and dirt in the street is the fourth top concern.
4. The messages in the posters relate to the most commonly found litter that we find on Merton’s streets.
5. Young people in the borough were questioned about the designs of the posters. Their views were taken into account with regards to the final designs chosen.