More than £4million has been spent on little picking and street cleaning across the borough in the last three years.
The figures spent by Armagh Banbridge & Craigavon Council have been branded obscene by the Chair of the Council’s Environment committee.
Councillor Bróna Haughey blasted the outrageous disregard for the environment.
The Sinn Fein representative said: “It’s an absolute disgrace in this day and age that our Councils are spending obscene amounts of money picking up after our residents.
“Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council has spent over £4 million on this in the last three years alone.
“This is an absolute disgrace and should not be happening. We are in an age of a climate emergency where our oceans are polluted with tonnes of plastic, micro plastics are in our food chains and farming is under threat as a result of the presence of micro plastics in soil and deteriorating soil health.
“This should come as a wake up call to residents within our Council area that their rate money, paid by their hard earned wages are being spent cleaning our streets and hedgerows, on an issue that could and should be avoided.
“People need wake up and stop littering. In most European countries you would be hard pushed to find a single item of litter on their streets, but the reality here is completely different.
“Our roads, hedgerows and rivers are brimming with litter, polluting our water and eventually making its way to the ocean or into our food chain.”
Councillor Haughey questioned residents’ regard for the environment.
“We live in an absolutely gorgeous part of the world but every road you drive on, every forest walk you visit and every beach you walk is littered with items carelessly strewn with blatant disregard and no thought spared for wildlife, marine life and the consequences that ensue.
“What’s more, our Councils do a fantastic job in providing recycling or dumping facilities in all locations across the Borough.
“We can all make small changes and help to stop the litter problem. We can start by thinking about how we dispose of our waste when out and about by taking your rubbish home and teach your family and friends to do the same.
“I would also encourage everyone to sign up to the Live Here Love Here Adopt a Spot Scheme.
“This scheme provides you with litter picking equipment to adopt a short stretch of road or path to clean twice a year. Small changes can make a huge difference. Be part of the change!”
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