Shoppers visiting Sutton High Street today will be greeted with the unpleasant sight of a rubbish mountain – which has been put there by Sutton Council.
The pile, which weighs 11 tonnes and is more than 10ft tall and just as wide, is part of an anti-litter campaign to change bad habits and save council taxpayers money.
It demonstrates how much litter is picked up from the streets across the borough each day at a cost of £4m a year.
This figure is the equivalent of running a library service for a year, repairing 100,000 potholes, providing 210 residential care places for the elderly, or building half a primary school.
As part of the campaign, two new enforcement officers have been brought in to issue fixed penalty notices of £90 to people who drop litter in Sutton.
They will not fine people for the first week during a grace period, but will warn against dropping litter and the consequences of doing so.
Councillor Ruth Dombey is dwarfed by the rubbish mountain on Sutton High Street
The council’s environment and neighbourhood committee chairwoman Councillor Jill Whitehead said: “We collect 11 tonnes of litter every day from our streets which contribute to the cost to the council taxpayer of £4m a year for street cleaning.
“The mountain of litter we have created in our High Street today really brings home just how much litter that is, and how disgusting it is that it ends up on our streets and not in bins.
“By educating people about the consequences of dropping litter, including thinking about what £4m could be better spent on, they can help the council to make savings and make Sutton look even better in the process.”
In the high street today people wearing sandwich information boards and others dressed in litter themed costumes will be talking to passersby about the cost of picking up litter, litter hotspots and how to throw away their rubbish correctly.
The anti-litter event also includes a separate display of fly-tipping which was collected yesterday from the borough’s streets.
Fly-tipping costs the council £170,000 a year to clean up.
What do you think of Sutton Council's rubbish mountain? Will it make you less likely to drop litter in future? Have your say below.