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Businesses pick-up the clean city challenge

3 May 2006

Businesses pick-up the challenge to keep the city clean

Mayor Garry Moore and Gary McCormick

*******

Christchurch launched an innovative new programme to get local businesses to help keep city pavements and streets litter free today .

Clean City Partners (CCP) is a new pilot programme that is not just about cleaning up the problem of rubbish but also about businesses encouraging their customers not to be tossers of litter and remind them that cigarette butts are litter too, said Richard Stokes, Marketing Manager, Christchurch City Council

Host Mayor Garry Moore and MC, radio personality and Gary McCormick arrived at the event appropriately on board the council’s rubbish contractors machinery. with lots of fun and fanfare.

During the launch, rubbish collected in the area over the last week was on display to illustrate the size of the problem, and the machinery used by the council’s contractors remained on show through-out the event. Some of the display material has been installed in the City Mall to help educate the public over the new few weeks.

The programme, a co-ordinated approach by local businesses and developed by the City Council, is the first of its kind in New Zealand. It is based on a successful programme in Sydney.

CCP aims to have a litter-free central city that will enhance business image and reduce the amount of litter flowing into the Avon via the stormwater. The programme is promoted as a way to make the Central City a better place to work, shop, be entertained and visit.

Clean City Partners is running as a six-month trial in the target area around the City Mall. It is hoped the programme will bring together all the good work already being done by many businesses and retailers in the area, providing more focus and encouraging other businesses to get involved. If successful, the programme will continue and the area it covers will be increased.

Richard Bailey, Transport and City Street, said the initiative started in response to our concerns that litter is now in more places, more often. “Research suggests this is a result of our changing lifestyle - being busier, we snack more and rely on fast food which is a high generator of litter.”

Smoking is also a big part of the problem, he said. “Apart from killing 4500 New Zealanders every year, cigarette butts have become the single most common litter item choking streets and rivers.”

Being a Clean City Partner is voluntary. By being involved, a business signals it is willing to educate staff and customers how to actively reduce litter outside their business.

Businesses can be a partner by simply displaying educational material and helping to keep the street frontages of their business litter free between council cleaning. In return, the council will be providing businesses with a brush and shovel and rubbish bags to dispose of the rubbish they collect off the street.

Over half of the retailers and businesses in the target area have signed-up to be part of the partnership.

ENDS

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