Is England getting cleaner ?
The 2010/2011 Local Environment Quality Survey of England, the latest such survey published by Keep Britain Tidy in March 2012, shows that overall standards remained the same as the previous year, with no change in the National Cleansing Index score (which is 76, out of a possible 100). The survey doesn’t just measure the amount of litter – it also covers detritus (gravel-like deposits), graffiti, fly-posting, leaf and blossom fall, weed growth and staining (e.g. by chewing gum).
Litter has seen a slight improvement, with 1% more sites than last year judged to be of an acceptable standard for litter. 15% of sites surveyed were judged unsatisfactory for litter in 2010/2011.
This is a wide-ranging survey carried out by a specialist team of trained Keep Britain Tidy survey officers. A robust quality assurance process ensures consistent surveying and high-quality data. The survey is made up of a structured sample of England, covering a range of types of local authorities across a range of the scale of deprivation. The survey is also split to ensure it covers an even spread of ten different defined land uses. This ensures that issues related to particular types of land can be identified. Please follow this link if you would like to see the full report.
Regionally, the North West is still narrowly the worst region for litter, although it showed an improvement of 3 percentage points over 2009/2011. London, the West Midlands and the East of England were one percentage point better for litter than the North West and the East of England showed the greatest decline (3 percentage points) over the year out of all the regions. The South East and North East came top of the litter table, earning the joint accolade of least littered regions.
What does this tell us ? Well, it tells us that, on average, the nation is about as littered as it was last year (and, in fact, about the same as for the last few years). You may find that hard to believe if you live in a badly-littered area, but the statistics are telling us that, on average, litter is not getting worse. So – we’ve still got work to do, by the sound of it !
And do let us know how you feel about these figures and if they accord with your own perceptions.