We have been working hard over the summer getting out and speaking to local businesses, and we’ve nearly reached our target of interviewing 100 businesses in Exeter face-to-face!
It is clear that there are generic problems associated with waste and recycling, with repercussions felt by many across the city. Behaviours that businesses frequently experience include waste bags being kicked and thrown down the street, bags being gotten into both by people and seagulls, and waste and recycling bins being moved and in some cases stolen.
All of these behaviours create more problems both for businesses and pedestrians as litter ends up strewn across the street. This costs everyone as local council tax payers have to pay more because the Street Cleansing Team are out having to pick up litter, and businesses are often sweeping outside their shops. In one instance we heard of drains being blocked by litter, which meant that during heavy rainfall water built up on the pavement and subsequently flooded the front of the shop, costing the business both time and money.
However not all litter comes from trade waste bins, in some areas it is coming from domestic collections being missed, or bags being put out at the wrong time. Coupled with the problem of littering on the street, it is obvious it is not just the responsibility of the businesses to clean it up, but requires the efforts of all of us to improve our streets.