Westminster City Council has launched ‘The Big Green Society’ which looks to tackle the root causes of environmental problems rather than consequences. Within this, the council is seeking to broaden its role from service provider to enabler – providing opportunities for residents that want to contribute to do so.

The council will be targeting its messages to reflect specific needs of individual communities and is considering rewarding the community as a whole for its combined efforts to create a virtuous cycle which benefits local authority and resident alike.

It is also seeking to develop mutually beneficial relationships with the private sector, including working with businesses to provide appropriate financial incentives for residents to encourage behavioural change.

Westminster Council’s cabinet member for city management, Cllr Ed Argar, said: “Refuse collection, street sweeping, litter bins, and managing parks and open spaces – none are glamorous political issues, but if you ask someone in the street what they expect councils to do, it would at the top of any priority list.

“For many years councils have cleared up after people, tackling consequences, but not always causes. Alongside continuing to make it easy for people to do the right thing, councils need to continue thinking about how they and society can help change attitudes to waste and littering.”

Last week, the council unveiled an arch made of rubbish which eclipsed the real Marble Arch near Oxford Street in central London to demonstrate how much rubbish is thrown onto the streets each day from just Oxford Street, Regent’s Street and Bond Street – a total of 120 bags.

Maxine Perella

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie