Renfrewshire Council has handed out £2,000 worth of fines to litter louts tossing rubbish in the streets.
New figures have revealed 53 people were handed fines for disposing of litter irresponsibly in 2019 – but the covid crisis saw figures plummet to zero last year.
In neighbouring East Renfrewshire, just three people were given fines in 2019 – totalling £160.
The figure stayed the same for 2020, with just two people given fixed penalty notices for littering.
Out of 32 local authorities in Scotland, 13 recorded zero fines in 2020, which has been attributed to the covid pandemic which affected their ability to tackle littering.
Renfrewshire had the fifth highest fines total in Scotland in 2019, with larger council districts such as Glasgow and North Lanarkshire topping the list at £192,331 and £18,960 respectively.
It’s a criminal offence for a person to drop, throw down, leave or deposit litter in a public place.
It carries a maximum fine of £2,500 and can be tried in Justice of the Peace Court.
Councils, or enforcement agents working on their behalf, can issue a fixed penalty notice with a fine of up to £80 – with discounts for paying quickly – instead of taking people to court.
However failure to pay can lead to the case being referred to the procurator fiscal.
Renfrewshire Council is dedicating to tackling the blight of littering in the local community through its successful Team Up to Clean Up initiative which encourages residents to complete their own litter picks and help keep the area clean.
A team of litter pickers work in different areas in the local authority each week in a bid to rid the streets of rubbish, however due to the covid pandemic, the team of six staff members have currently been assigned to help with other essential services.
Wardens and a rapid response team also carry out patrols throughout Renfrewshire villages and towns.
Renfrewshire Council regularly appeals to the community to do their bit to help.
A statement on the council website reads: “One of the biggest causes of our streets being unclean is littering and fly-tipping.
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“As the council, we are forced to collect tonnes of litter each year from our streets, which takes our teams away from other tasks to improve our environment as they need to clear what has been dumped.
“If everyone uses the public bins provided or keeps litter with them until they reach a bin, then Renfrewshire will be a cleaner place to
“Tonnes of litter is dropped across Renfrewshire each year and if we can ‘Team Up to Clean Up’ to stop this happening then our communities will see the benefit.
“If you think you can help and you’ve got the time to volunteer, visit our Community Clean Up page and let’s work together to make Renfrewshire a better place.”
Residents are also urged to report fly-tipping which could see dumpers facing a £200 fine or if taken to court a fine of up to £40,000 or imprisonment.
For more on Team Up to Clean Up visit renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup or to report fly-tipping contact 0300 300 0300.