Schools join fight against sticky litter
THE war on chewing gum is being taken to the classroom.
Kirklees Environmental Services is expanding the successful GumTarget scheme into Kirklees schools.
It is also being extended into Dewsbury and Batley town centres and into new sites in Huddersfield town centre.
GumTargets are powder-coated steel boards that fix to walls, posts or railings. They are covered with a removable sheet on which chewers are encouraged to place their gum.
The GumSheet is then removed and disposed of along with the gum.
Now high and middle schools are being given the opportunity to have two GumTargets on their school sites free of charge for the first year.
Support linked to the school curriculum is being offered by Environmental Services and schools will also being invited to design their own GumSheets.
A quiz in the style of "Who wants to be a Millionaire" will also be run in participating schools, promoting gum and litter awareness.
Chewing gum manufacturer The Wrigley Company Ltd is also offering a free resource pack developed by EdComs, a specialist education consultancy.
The pack is aimed at 11 to13-year-olds and contains posters, information and lesson activity sheets for pupils to get actively involved in learning about the responsible disposal of all forms of litter.
The packs are available to all high and middle schools.
About 10,500 pieces of gum are disposed of each month on the existing 40 GumTargets in Huddersfield town centre.
In the UK there are 28m gum chewers and the market is growing rapidly.
Each year it costs £150m to clean chewing gum from the streets. One piece of littered gum costs on average 30p to remove.
Clr Martyn Bolt, Kirklees Cabinet member for litter and the environment, said: "Chewing gum takes five years to biodegrade and harms wildlife.
"As well as sticking to shoes and clothes, gum is very difficult to remove from pavements.
"It looks unsightly and attracts more litter. It is difficult and costly to remove and the staining left behind poses another problem.
"By providing GumTargets, we hope to encourage gum chewers to be responsible and dispose of their gum in a sensible and thoughtful way.
"Our Enforcement Team issue fixed penalty notices of £75 to pedestrians and people throwing litter from cars onto our streets and this includes gum."
Any business or school wishing to be part of this high profile campaign should contact the Environmental Services Publicity and Marketing Officer on 01484 414854.