A Croydon estate has become home to eye-catching outdoor murals aimed at cutting the amount of rubbish dumped on its streets in a pilot scheme led by the council and local residents.
Young people who live on the Shrublands estate in Shirley and council officers designed and commissioned the three murals, which were painted at known fly-tipping hotspots.
The murals in Myrtle Road, Broom Gardens and Gorse Road, depicting respectively a kitten’s face with flowers; a landscape of Shrublands’ buildings and open spaces; and a large pair of eyes with houses beneath, are designed to encourage residents to take better care of their local area.
The behavioural awareness trial follows successful similar schemes in other London boroughs that cut antisocial behaviour, including an 18% reduction in Greenwich near shopfronts painted with babies’ faces.
The three designs, painted onto garage and bin store walls on the estate by artists Lisa Price and Ben Connors, were created by Shrublands young people during a community involvement day in June run by Croydon Council housing department’s tenancy and neighbourhood service.
Shrublands was chosen for the project because it is the Croydon estate with the highest level of fly-tipping, and the council will consider further murals if the trial is successful.
The scheme is part of the council’s Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign that combines enforcement with getting people to take more responsibility for their waste.
“These murals may be cute and colourful, but they have a serious purpose to cut fly-tipping on the Shrublands estate.
“Our Don’t Mess campaign is about changing attitudes as much as enforcement, and we want fly-tippers to realise how they damage their local area.
“Other London boroughs have very successfully used murals to change similar antisocial behaviour, and if this trial brings results we’ll consider painting them anywhere else that’s suitable to improve the local environment for our residents.”
Councillor Stuart Collins, deputy leader – Clean Green Croydon
Sharon Swaby, chair of Shrublands Residents’ Association, said: “Everyone absolutely loved it. I think more of them should go around the estate. I think it adds a bit more colour to the community and makes it a bit more vibrant.”