A LITTER-HATING super hero has taken to the streets of Richmondshire this week in a campaign to encourage people to dispose of their cigarette ends properly and reduce the amount of litter in a number of Yorkshire Dales towns and villages.
Buttman - stubbing out fag ends across Richmondshire
"Buttman" and his team will travel around market towns and tourist attractions across Richmondshire to raise awareness of the fact that dropping cigarette ends is littering, and can lead to a £50 fixed penalty fine. Rather bizarrely the campaign will also target those smokers who flick ash on to the ground as well.
"We wanted an eye catching, and humorous way of making people realise they are being anti-social when they throw their fag butts in the street", explains Councillor Jane Parlour, Richmondshire's Member Champion for waste minimisation and street scene.
"During this campaign we hope to persuade people that their cigarette litter is dirty and unsightly for other residents and visitors to the area, as well as costing council tax payers' money to clean up."
Buttman will target smokers he sees flicking ash and cigarette ends in the streets by giving them a free pocket ashtray, funded by Richmondshire's Community Safety Partnership (RCSP), to help them change their ways.
A less light hearted clampdown on the problem is set to follow in the coming months as fixed penalty notices will issued to people seen dropping cigarette related litter outside.
During this campaign we hope to persuade people that their cigarette litter is dirty and unsightly for other residents and visitors to the area
Jane Parlour - Richmondshire Councillor
"The problem of discarded chewing gum will also be tackled as part of the campaign", adds the Council's anti-social behaviour co-ordinator Becky Allan.
"Just like cigarettes, disposing of it inappropriately is technically littering and offenders can be given a £50 fine. Tackling environmental anti-social behaviour, such as littering and fly tipping is a priority for the District Council and RCSP."
Specialist gum removal equipment will be in operation to clean up paved areas in Richmond in the next few weeks, with enforcement action to follow.
The campaign was kicked off in Richmond, but will move on to Hawes, Leyburn, Catterick Garrison and Colburn.
The Community partnership has bought 1000 pocket ashtrays to give away during the campaign. The ashtrays are also available from Richmondshire District Council Community Offices in Colburn, Hawes, Reeth, Leyburn and Richmond, and Information Points at the HIVE, Catterick Garrison and Catterick Village.