Public Backs ‘Own Your Streets Day’

Manchester City Council’s 100 day clean-up is well under way at the moment demonstrating the Council’s commitment to a clean and green environment. This included the successful ‘Own Your Streets Day’ on Monday 24th April, where street sweepers downed tools for the day – in an attempt to get the public to use a bin.

The British Cleaning Council (BCC)’s Eibhlin O’Somachain was among the four judges in attendance to mark the people of Manchester on their efforts to keep the city tidy.

This was no mean feat considering there is 1,000 tons of rubbish cleared from the city centre every day – 700 tons of that comes from the bins, while the remaining 300 from discarded fast food and drinks and sweet packaging.

The Council take their role of enforcers very seriously and in the words of Rachel Christie, head of the council’s environmental services, “I would like to never issue a fixed penalty notice again but have no choice” with litter droppers continuing to flout the law, they face paying a hefty fine.

On the day the judges took the route from Piccadilly Gardens through the busy Market Street, St Ann’s Square and along Cross Street, concluding the tour in Albert Square.

Eibhlin O’Somachain said: “Market Street was messier than Cross Street and St Ann’s Square, as its stores attract younger people, who are more likely to drop litter and may not realise that smaller items like cigarette butts are litter. Areas like Albert Square, which has no fast food outlets, attract more mature working people making it more likely to be clean.”

Manchester was a finalist in the BCC’s ‘Britain’s Cleanest City’ competition in 2005. This competition has been re-launched as the ‘Clean Britain Awards’, held every two years, which mean that all UK councils are eligible to enter, that is cities, towns and districts.

Eibhlin O’Somachain said: “A city like Manchester has all the right ingredients for success in the Clean Britain Awards. The Council has the drive to keep the streets clean by encouraging businesses in the centre to share responsibility for litter and by raising public awareness of the problems they face.

“Supporting those in the front line of the battle against litter and equipping them to do their work properly is also vital. With initiatives such as these a city like Manchester could go far in our Awards.”

The BCC is currently welcoming entries to the 2007 competition with a deadline of 30th June 2006. These new awards are an excellent opportunity for any city, town or district to be crowned the ‘Cleanest Place in Britain’. With the support of ENCAMS (Keep Britain Tidy campaigners), BCC is inviting members of the public to get behind their local council and nominate your area. Please email nominations to

It is up to all UK councils to enter and is easy to do. For further information on entering the competition see or email or telephone 01562 851129.

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