Council to shame schoolchild litterbugs

The schoolchildren are accused of dropping tonnes of litter

FED up council bosses have threatened to dump tonnes of rubbish in a school playground in a bid to shame litterbugs.

Fife Council is so fed up with the mess in and around schools it is also considering fixed penalty fines against schoolchildren who drop litter.

And even work gangs of pupils could be forced to carry out community clean ups.

Youngsters dropping sweet wrappers, chip papers and other items are being blamed for much of the rubbish blowing around the streets.

The council said that on October 17 alone, some 11.5 tonnes of rubbish were scooped into 27 vehicles in the west area of Fife.

Environment boss Martin Kingham said they were considering options for cracking down on schoolchildren who spoiled the area.

He said: “One way would be to collect a week’s worth of litter that is dropped by the pupils to and from the vans and shops at lunchtimes, and from that, with agreement from the headteachers, dump this off in the playgrounds for the pupils to see just what the impact the litter they drop is having on the community.”


He added: “We’re exploring the issue of fixed penalties which we currently issue to adults but we have not issued any as yet to minors.”

The problem is so bad that gangs of council cleaners move in as soon as pupils return to the classroom from their lunchbreak.

“Our teams have to go in immediately after recess is over to clean up all the litter blowing about the streets,” he said.

Mr Kingham said groups of youngsters could be sent to clear up their mess at the weekend.

“There’s the option of a supervised community clean-up and there may be an opportunity there to basically alter behaviours, where kids actually see the consequences of their actions on the community,” he said.

“It could potentially be held on a Saturday morning instead of parents having to pay a fine.”

In West Fife, Dunfermline,  St Columba’s and Inverkeithing high schools have all been approached about raising awareness of littering.

Inverkeithing High head teacher Iain Yuile acknowledged that there was “a degree of littering” in around local shops that opened at lunchtime.

He said: “We’re happy to be involved and certainly want to look at measures that will help reduce that.”