Neat Streets: Fighting Litter
Littering is a persistent and expensive problem for London. Neat Streets will run from May to December in Villiers Street, Westminster, which has the second highest footfall in the Capital. Research found that 62% of street users drop litter. We have already run a number of campaigns in the street, seen at https://www.hubbub.org.uk/neat-streets.
The launch of the project has attracted considerable interest with articles in the Times, The Observer and Radio 5 Live. £90,500 of private sector funding has been secured and a wide array of stakeholders including the City of Westminster, NorthBank BID and local businesses are extensively involved. Independent evaluation has already been commissioned to robustly measure the projects impacts.
The High Street Fund would fund the essential concluding components of Neat Streets in September, linking to the Totally Thames Festival. We will showcase innovative ways found to reduce litter, celebrating the area and boosting community pride.
What we’ll do:
- Create a sense of community and civic pride, which has proved crucial for successful long-term anti-litter campaigns.
- Use techniques such as fun theory, gamification and visualisation to raise awareness and stimulate behaviour change.
- Exhibit and showcase Neat Streets installations on Villiers Street – including interactive bins and displays.
- Host an exhibition to showcase new technologies in collaboration with the social enterprises Gumdrop and Terracycle.
- Organise ‘Neat Streets Walking Tours’, to reveal and celebrate all that is special about the area, boosting pride.
- Use walkabout acts, characters from old Victorian England, to bring the street to life and animate the message.
- Display a temporary pop up gallery exhibiting the faces of the ‘My Street Is Your Street poster campaigns.
- Organise a performance at York Water Gate, permissions already granted to surround the ‘stage’ with plastic bottles.
- Facilitate a Neat Streets Forum, where local representatives can produce a plan for continued anti-litter activity.
- Create Neat Streets delivery kit based on key findings, liaise with key agencies to develop dissemination strategy.
Why it’s a great idea:
Neat Streets presents new ideas to tackle the unsightly stain of litter on our streets. It will bring the Embankment to life, linking to the Totally Thames Festival ambitions, celebrating a pioneering campaign in the heart of London.
Two weeks of concentrated activity will enable the messages of the wider campaign to be consolidated and amplified, ensuring maximal and lasting impact in the area. It will celebrate the local community, harnessing the enthusiasm of those already involved. Over 90 members of the local public took part in the ‘My Street Is Your Street’ photo gallery and remain positively engaged.
The wider scope is significant. The project aims to inspire change and act as a catalyst for more concerted activity against littering on other streets in London, and the UK. Already there have been expressions of interest to replicate successful project elements elsewhere, from The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to Zero Waste Scotland.
How we’ll get it done:
- Assess the impact of different interventions, noting those most effective, through progress monitoring.
- Meet with designers, artists and performers who will be consulted and commissioned to be involved.
- Work with local groups, businesses and The Northbank Improvement District.
- Liaise with Totally Thames team to best fit our activity into their September events.
- Apply for relevant permissions from Westminster City Council.
- Consult with the Street Cleaning and Parks team to refine the programme of events and select locations.
- Work with a media partner to develop a marketing strategy and agree messaging and language.
- Work with local businesses to provide marketing collateral.
- Thoroughly assess risk factors for each proposed idea and produce a risk minimisation plan.
The six month project is a collaboration with Westminster City Council, its waste contractor Veolia, and a number of packaging associations. To-date collective financial support totals £90,500. We do not have funding for the proposed activity in September and would look to entirely fund this from the Mayor’s Fund.
Through local stakeholder consultation we have learnt that the street lacks a sense of identity. We will enhance the ‘sense of place’ and purpose, giving the street new vitality and appeal. This will also boost community pride and feeling of local ownership – uniting local groups and businesses. Acting as a catalyst for cleaner, greener, and safer high streets elsewhere.
There is a wealth of experience within Hubbub, founded by Trewin Restorick previously the Founder/CEO of the award-winning UNEP endorsed Global Action Plan. There is considerable expertise within our Board of trustees, chaired by Viki Cooke, Co Founder of Britain Thinks.