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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2007, 07:41 GMT 08:41 UK
Gum boards tackle sticky problem
A gum board in Preston, Lancashire
Most of the gum boards are in the Week Street area of Maidstone
A new weapon in the fight against litter louts who chew gum in a Kent town is said to be having an impact.

As part of its ongoing blitz on dropped gum, Maidstone Borough Council has put up gum boards around the town centre.

Rather than dropping it on the ground, offenders are encouraged to stick their discarded gum to a peelable plastic sheet, which can be removed when full.

The scheme is being trialled for a year, but the council said the boards were already making a difference.

Anti-littering messages

Ben Robinson, environmental services development officer, said although the boards did not look very appealing, they raised awareness and were better than having gum stuck on the ground.

"We're not anti people chewing gum... but we want people to behave responsibly," he said.

Most of the 20 gum boards are concentrated around the Week Street area of the town centre, and carry anti-littering messages, fun voting questions, and more general educational messages about the problems gum can cause.

The council already has dedicated officers who can hand out 75 fines to anyone caught dropping their gum.

Other schemes have also involved extra cleaning patrols, special pouches for people to throw their gum away, and educational initiatives such as leaflets and videos.

Gum boards tackle sticky problem
18 Aug 05 |  Lancashire

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