Pupils fined as residents tackle litter issue

Some of the worst of the rubbish in Don Street, right next to the block's wheelie bins.
Some of the worst of the rubbish in Don Street, right next to the block's wheelie bins.

Don Street residents are almost at their wits’ end dealing with rubbish generated by school pupils on their lunch break.

Householders are having to clear up on a daily basis behind the large groups of youngsters who congregate on an area of grass between the blocks of flats on Don Street and Brechin Road.

The groups can be as large as 50 or 60-strong and it is not uncommon for the trail of detritus left behind to stretch around the back of the building.

Residents have been in touch with both Angus Council and Forfar Academy directly but say they have been passed from pillar to post, with the authority saying it is a police issue and the school saying there is no action it can take as the incidents happen outwith school hours.

One woman, who asked not to be named, said that owner-occupiers on the site are fed up paying monthly ground-keeping fees for the garden area to end up looking like a rubbish tip.

Angus Council, however, has said that action has been taken and that several fixed penalty notices have already been issued for littering in that area.

The resident said: “The school children are going to Tesco and then crossing the road to eat their lunch here, and are then just dumping their rubbish. We’re all paying out £40 per month to cover the gardening costs, and it’s basically being wrecked by kids.

“What makes it worse is that there are bins there, and they stand next to them, but drop their litter anyway. We’ve told them that we don’t mind them being here, just as long as they put their litter in the bin but they’re just being lazy.”

The woman continued that contact had been made with the academy to ask if pupils could be sent down to pick up the litter themselves, but said she had been told that health and safety concerns ruled that out.

She added: “This has all happened before and the council assured us there would be more community warden attention, but we rarely see them here.”

A council spokeswoman said that “numerous attempts” have been made to stop the problem.

She continued: “Although technically this is not a school problem, as there is no responsibility to supervise pupils outwith school premises in their lunch hour, pupils are reminded that they should not drop litter and they are ambassadors for the school at all times.”