4 Litter/Fly-tipping Behaviours and why they matter
Updated: May 22, 2021
If we are to solve the matter of littering and fly-tipping, we need to understand the drivers behind the people involved in this behaviour. I have identified what I believe to be 4 types of people who's behaviours we need to understand.
"I don't care" people - e.g. the folks who throw their sweet wrapper/food carton/beer can on the street and don't care. This type of person may have little affinity for the area, or perhaps clean streets are not a priority for them. Getting these people to change their behaviours will involve addressing the needs of two other people types first. "I don't care" people are more likely to throw litter in a bin if the area is spotless, and hence throwing litter on the pavement is the clear exception which would draw attention to themselves (and even so they may not care).
"I could care" people - these people might be persuaded to work towards a cleaner environment but right now: a) they don't have enough street bins to use when they have rubbish in their hands. b) with so much other rubbish on the streets, they don't think it would make a difference.
"My refuse needs are not being met so I dump rubbish bags in the street" people - the rubbish bags dumped alongside trees, lamp posts, and rubbish bins are left by people who's refuse clearance needs are not being met in a simple enough way for them to cooperate. (Some people who live in flats above shops fall into this category). I strongly feel that this is the group we need to target first, and who's behaviours we must change first. My desire to have a few small rubbish bag cages in the street (see image above) is so that we can shepherd ALL street rubbish into a few designated areas, and to ask a very small change in behaviour of this person type. This will leave the majority of the pavements clean and show we mean business.
"The Fly-Tipper" - this opportunistic person sees a filthy area and realises that they can make money from dumping waste there. They are the stereotype that are will diminish as we address points 1-3.
Please let me state that the above relates to types of people we need to understand in order to solve the litter & fly-tipping problem. I have not said anything about all the wonderful people who are working for a cleaner Norbury.