Litter, Noise and Smells
A McDonald's outlet brings significant increases in litter to an area.
Cooking and waste can cause offensive odours, and unsociable opening hours
can bring noise and disturbance to local residents. The information below
may be useful in substantiating these facts.
Below is the claim regarding litter that was submitted by McDonald's during
their application for planning permission to covert the White Lion pub in
East Grinstead into a
drive-thru McDonald's. McDonald's claims are followed by a response from the
Coalition Against the McDonald's Plan".
McDonald's submission on litter:
"McDonald's are very conscious of the problems litter creates and the attitude
of some of its customers towards this. Apart from the provision of adequate
litter bins in the restaurant and within the car park, frequent 'litter
undertaken by members of staff in the area surrounding the restaurant.
During these patrols all litter,
not just McDonald's litter, is collected."
"On a national scale McDonald's work in close partnership with 'The Tidy
on the 'Spring Clean Initiative' and the 'Bin it for Britain' nationwide tour.
Both campaigns involve active litter collecting within the community by
with youth groups and school children, and are designed to encourage good
in young people."
In the High Court, Professor Graham Ashworth, Director-General of the
Tidy Britain Group ('TBG') and a McDonald's witness said that McDonald's
sponsorship of the TBG amounted to around £200,000 per annum. He admitted that
McDonald's was in the "top 1 or 2%" of all companies whose products end up
He agreed that there were other problems with litter apart from the fact
that people don't like looking at it. For example packaging, including
polystyrene, "has been swallowed by animals in mistake for food", causing the
wildlife to starve to death. Litter also ended up being blown from streets into
rivers and the sea.
Colin McIntyre (Press Officer of a London residents association) said that
initally carried out litter patrols two or three times a day, but this did
He said that despite continuous complaints to McDonald's, there had been no
litter patrol down his street for two and a half years. Apart from the
only people picking up litter were his neighbours. He added "I have seen one
litter cleaner, it was enough of a joke we all made a note of it in our
He told how local residents associations were also angry about the store
causing increased traffic, noise and cooking smells*
and how they eventually set
an action group to consider legal action.
* This is presently the subject of controversy in Guildford, that has
been reported in the national
Other planning related issues:
Traffic Congestion, Parking and
Employment McJobs and
Guide to the Planning Applications -
background information about
the planning system.
Organising Objections - A brief summary of
things to do.
Example letter of objection - to help
you write your own letter.
Example campaign petition -
helpfull for raising awareness.
Spoof McDriveThru application - to be used as