Merton Council is working with a theatre group to help educate the borough’s school children about looking after their environment and keeping their streets clean.
Organised by Merton Council’s waste team to educate pupils about the consequences of littering, the anti-litter workshops are carried out by professional drama teachers from the Dangerous Theatre Group who help the pupils put together a play for their classmates. As part of the play, children are given the opportunity to take on the role of a community character, such as a teenager, elderly person and police officer, to teach their fellow pupils about the affects litter and graffiti can have on a community and the environment.
These workshops are part of the council’s anti-litter campaign and have been set up to engage children about anti-littering at an early age to help prevent environmental crimes in the future. So far 13 schools have taken part in the anti-litter drama workshops with 30 more to follow by the end of the school year.
The council spends £5million on clearing litter, graffiti and fly tipping from the streets; money it could spend on services to benefit residents more. Its anti-litter code, published at the beginning of the year, reminds people of their responsibility not to litter and lists the actions the council takes to clear up the litter from the borough’s streets, including investing in street cleaning equipment and enforcing the £75 fine for dropping litter.
Cabinet member for environmental cleanliness and parking, Councillor Judy Saunders, said: “It was great to see the pupils at St Peter and St Paul Primary School getting so involved in the anti-littering drama workshops. They are great ambassadors for keeping the streets of Merton clean and I’d like to commend them for their enthusiasm and excellent drama skills. I’d also like to thank our schools for working with us to educate our children about these important issues, helping us to keep our borough clean now and in the future.”
St Peter and St Paul Primary School pupil, Emily Saunders, said: “Littering is not nice and makes our streets look dirty. The play we put together with the people from the Dangerous Theatre workshops was great fun and helped us to teach our younger classmates not to litter.”
The council’s anti-litter code can be viewed by visiting www.merton.gov.uk/anti-littercode.