Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The real cost of a good party

On the way home from the noon Eucharist, I saw a couple of men in Skanska hi-viz vests carrying bin bags full of cans and plastic beakers, emerging from the Heras fencing surrounding one of their work areas. Over the weekend I'd noticed how many cans and beakers were strewn all over their workspace. How many bin bags have you collected? I asked. Twenty, said one of them, clearly not in a good mood, pointing the finger behind himself towards to Owain Glyndwr pub and the Cornish pasty shop, in his view the chief culprits on the block. They had to clear up so that their slab laying teams could get back to work.

Later I talked to Debbie, Skanska's liaison officer, who was also lamenting about the mess. She mentioned broken glass on the streets too. Only drinks in plastic or canned are allowed for sale in the city on match days, but people bring stuff in with them from the coaches, and discard when it suits them. Either that, or open air drinkers are carrying out wine bottles un-checked by pub management.

So much money is made on match day booze sales, it's like the City is sometimes a bit reticent about making demands on the back of such economic success, fearful that the big players will all pack up and leave. But, one way or another, the City pays with clean-up costs, or simply in the case of re-paving streets, much needed work time to get the job done.

Much more has to be done to alter public attitudes and behaviour, towards discarding consumer rubbish. It undermines the dignity and attractiveness of the place, and makes no demand that people should behave in a manner worthy of city of quality.

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