Litter louts get cash incentive to clean up

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The Independent Online
A CHOCOLATE bar wrapper or used tissue deposited in the municipal litter bin could be worth pounds 5 to the tidy-minded - provided the conscientious citizen is in the precincts of the borough of Neath Port Talbot.

Next week the local council is to confirm a scheme which carries echoes of the old News Chronicle's "Lobby Ludd" promotion which urged readers to seek the man out, brandish a copy of the old Liberal newspaper and claim a fiver.

In South Wales, the crisp packet is a prime target. Armed with a roll of notes, the council's three uniformed litter wardens will venture out in territory stretching from British Steel's giant plant on the coast to Seven Sisters, a former mining village on the edge of the Brecon Beacons.

The carrot offered by the Labour-controlled council is complemented with a stick in the shape of legislation which allows litter bugs to be fined pounds 25. The wardens will also snap offenders whose mug shots could end up on display in a rogues' gallery.

But if someone is seen binning their trash, a warden will move in, smile and make an offer. Just how much cash will be carried, remains a secret.

Chris Willans, Principal Community Services Officer, believes the word will get round. "We aim to reverse circumstances where people don't care enough about the environment," he said.

However, a spokesman for the Keep Wales Tidy campaign said: "We find it disappointing that people should need any financial incentive to stop dropping litter."