Charnwood Borough Council: Don't Muck Around

Charnwood Borough Council: Don't Muck Around

Launch date: September 2012


Fly-tipping, litter and dog fouling are the three biggest environmental complaints received by Charnwood Borough Council. To tackle the issues in a creative and coordinated way, the Council launched its second annual Don’t Muck Around campaign which ran for three months from September to November 2012.

The main objectives were to use multiple channels, publicity stunts and social media to raise awareness of the offences, reduce incidents and increase confidence in the Council's ability to tackle the litter, dog fouling and fly-tipping.

Strategy and details of activity

Our strategy was to:

  • Publicise and promote the Don’t Muck Around campaign’s aims to as wide an audience as possible
  • Use public participation events to meet our customers and spread the word
  • Use constant, consistent and clear communications to make key audiences aware of the campaign
  • Raise awareness of the impact and penalties of environmental crime
  • Evaluate the success of communications

Our tactics included:

Cigarette litter

  • An ‘ash mob’ of volunteers dressed as human cigarettes and descended on Loughborough town centre in complete silence and simultaneously lay down for five minutes. The event was filmed and the video used to promote the campaign
  • Collected cigarette ends from the town centre over three weeks and used them to create a ‘fag mountain’ photo opportunity to illustrate the scale of the problem
  • Launched a business pledge scheme Fly-tipping
  • Worked with another council to create a public fly-tip ‘grime’ scheme in Coalville town centre * Publicised prosecutions for fly-tipping and Duty of Care offences
  • Worked with the fire service to encourage reports of fly-tips to reduce arson risk around Bonfire Night

Dog fouling

  • Worked with another council l to publicise and hold a ‘Bark in the Park’ event for hundreds of dog owners in Ibstock
  • Worked in schools with Dog’s Trust to promote responsible dog ownership
  • Launched a dedicated ‘dog squad’ to target dog fouling in hotspot areas


Media coverage: 100% positive or neutral coverage generated from 13 press releases which secured 21 media hits.

Awareness: Awareness of Duty of Care offences linked to fly-tipping rose by 11%

Social media: In total, the campaign received 110 likes on a dedicated Facebook page plus more than 100 re-tweets for campaign-related Twitter mentions. Our 'ash mob' film has now received more than 880 views on YouTube and was viewed more than 5,100 times on the Council's website.

Incident numbers:

  • Cigarette litter – 32% reduction (1,355 down to 914)
  • Dog fouling – 72% reduction (202 down to 56)