Here's something to chew on, a £75 fine for spitting out gum in Bristol
PEOPLE who spit chewing gum onto Bristol's pavements face an on-the-spot fine of £75.
A campaign was launched in the city centre yesterday to urge people to stop discarding the sticky mess on our streets – or run the risk of being out of pocket.
It also warns that an unpaid fine could lead to court action, which could see them having to pay up to £2,500.
It currently costs Bristol City Council £38,000 a year to clean chewing gum off the pavements.
Bissell's 8910E Aroma Pro is the ultimate in home cleaning giving you a machine that provides outstanding results when not just cleaning carpets but stairs and upholstery too.
Terms: Limited Stock Offer . FREE Delivery to most UK postcodes.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Tuesday, May 28 2013
Council officials have now picked ten hotspots in the city to monitor the success of the four-week campaign. These are Park Street, Broadmead, Queens Road and Baldwin Street.
The council uses a specially-adapted vehicle with a pressurised water jet to clear off each blob of chewing gum.
The labour-intensive service, which clears about 4,400 gobs of gum from the city centre each week, costs £38,000 a year to run – that's about 50p a blob.
Denise James, from the council's Clean and Green campaign, said the worst areas were taxi ranks, bus stops and outside nightclubs.
"There's at least one chewing gum firm which uses an additive to make chewing gum less sticky – but as far as we're concerned, that's not the point – it's still litter and leaves a horrible mess."
Bristol's 130 community police support officers (PCSOs) have been trained to look out for people spitting out gum. They, as well as environmental health officers and police officers, can hand out fixed penalty notices. A parking warden can take a person's details but not actually hand out a ticket.
Liberal Democrat Cabinet Councillor Gary Hopkins said: "As far as we're concerned, we do have a zero tolerance towards this because it's a filthy habit and leaves such a mess on our streets.
"It's not the same as clearing away cigarette butts which can be swept up. Each sticky blob of chewing gum has to be cleaned one by one.
"We are being vigilant but we have to be honest and say it's not easy to catch people in the act of doing it."
The campaign is using posters and handing out free chewing gum wrappers to make it easier for people to discard their unwanted gum.
Bristol is one of 12 cities in the country for this year's annual campaign by the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG). The action group is chaired by Defra and brings together representatives from the chewing gum industry, Keep Britain Tidy, the Local Government Association, the Chartered Institute of Waste Management, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly Government and the Food and Drink Federation.
Nationwide, the clean-up bill for clearing chewing gum from streets is about £150 million a year. Environment Minister Lord Henley said: "This money would be better spent on important services."