If only we could pretend scenes like this are untypical. The truth, however, is that they’re not.
Anyone venturing out early on a Sunday morning before the crews from Canterbury City Council’s cleaning contractor Serco have been out will have come across a sight such as this outside Ocakbasi in St Peter’s Street today.
It follows a busy Saturday night in Canterbury.
- Right, after seeing that sign we need a kooky Canterbury contest
- S Club will perform at this summer’s Pride Canterbury
Warm weather meant that many of the pubs were packed, especially as Manchester United were playing Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup semi-final on tv.
Places like the Old City Bar, the Seven Stars and the Bishops Finger were standing room only.
Then as the post-alcohol craving for cheap, quickly cooked, fatty food kicked in, the kebab, chicken and pizza shops filled with the hungry.
Some, of course, behave responsibly despite the alcohol intake and put their rubbish in the bins.
But for others are either too drunk, too lazy or too uncaring to put their trash in a bin.
So they don’t. They just drop it where they are.
In the morning the team from Serco come around to clean it up, work that has to be paid for with money collected in council tax.
Richard Corrall from Whitstable was out in Canterbury last night and witnessed the mess this morning.
He said: “It is amazing that people just throw their food wrappers and empty drink containers on to the ground like this.
“It’s even worse that there are all these bins in the area and they’ve chosen not to use them.
“It looks like walking a few feet to a bin is too much effort.”
Last week Canterbury City Council’s policy and resources committee voted to raise fines for littering.
At present anyone caught dropping litter faces a flat £80 fine. Under the new system, they would be fined £150 – reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days.
Council leader Simon Cook said: “This increase will be in line with what the government is saying we can do.
“People don’t like seeing litter. We hope this might act a powerful deterrent not to do so.”
The council’s enforcement officers, however, are not around when much of the takeaway rubbish appears on city streets.
And it seems that the central message of the council’s Love Where We Live campaign isn’t being heard loudly enough.