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Bin Your Butt! Dorchester

Bin Your Butt! Dorchester
Posted : September 6, 2017

Bin Your Butt! is launching in three locations across Dorset this month. It’s a new campaign focusing on cigarette butts by Litter Free Dorset. The campaign asks people to use appropriate street bins, wall-mounted cigarette bins or a portable “stubby bin” to help achieve a LitterFreeDorset.

The campaign kicked off in Dorchester on 11th September with a “higher or lower” game. The Litter Free Dorset team have been working with Scott Bailey, Dorchester Keeper of the Walks street sweeper to record the number of cigarette butts found along Dorchester High Street. Litter Free Dorset are collating this information and putting it up on signs at either end of South Street. Charlie Wild, Litter Free Dorset Project Officer explained; “The signs will be updated each week to show whether the number of cigarette butts has increased or decreased since previous week. It is hoped that this feedback will mean that butt numbers reduce in the town because:

  • people behave differently when they feel like they are being watched – the higher and lower signs show people that their behaviour is being monitored and this means they are more likely to do the right thing
  • people tend to follow others – if people see that the trend in cigarette litter in the town decreases they will follow the pack and join in
  • positive feedback reinforces positive behaviour – people like being praised for doing something good and people also like being part of a group that is doing well. As cigarette litter decreases the recognition people get from being part of something positive will mean they are more likely to carry on putting their butts in the bin”

Litter Free Dorset is made up of a group of local organisations, charities and community groups. They all work together to reduce the social, economic and environmental impacts of litter.

Scott Bailey, Dorchester’s Keeper of the Walks, sweeps the streets in the Town Centre collecting all litter including cigarette butts. He is very supportive of the campaign and added “Cigarette butts look unsightly and create the wrong impression. If the town is clean, a good 90% will use a bin. I live here and want it to look nice; it’s a gorgeous town with a lot of history. A lot of people have remarked and said that it looks great compared to other towns they had visited during the holidays. The main thing is that they go away with the right impression of Dorchester.”

Local businesses in Dorchester Town centre have been approached in the run up to the campaign to get involved. Businesses are doing their bit to help by displaying posters, having bins for smokers available and handing out personal stubby packs – a small pouch that holds cigarette butts until you can find a suitable bin.

Did you know that:

  • cigarette filters don’t degrade or dissolve – they contain plastic which never disappears and a lot of chemicals?
  • cigarette butts dropped or washed down street drains can flow directly to the river or sea with no interception?
  • clean up costs – you can help save Dorset money by using the bin

The Litter Free Dorset team are all very grateful to everyone who has come together already to support the campaign including the Dorset Waste Partnership, Community Highways Officers, Dorchester Town Council, Dorchester BID and the local PCSO team.

Dorchester anti-litter legend legend Bob Kerr who has been campaigning about litter in the town for a number of years has also got behind this new campaign. Bob explained “People should take pride in how their town looks, especially with the improvements in Dorchester town centre. A cleaner, more attractive town draws in more tourists. We shouldn’t expect someone else to pick up our litter – it’s costly.”

The Dorset wide #BINYOURBUTT campaign continue this month in Ferndown and Swanage with some more different and innovative techniques to try and tackle the issue. Keep your eyes peeled to see what happens in these locations!

You can follow the #BINYOURBUTT campaign by finding Litter Free Dorset on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #BINYOURBUTT

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