Fighting Litter Around the UK: Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham is a vibrant regency town with a busy calendar of events and festivals all year round and a population of around 117,000 people. This makes keeping the town tidy a priority, and Cheltenham Borough Council, along with its environmental service provider Ubico, and partners including Gloucestershire Police, the Environment Agency and the DVLA has taken on the fight against problems such as fly-tipping, graffiti, dog fouling, and abandoned vehicles.
Last year, the council spent over £1 million keeping the town’s streets clean, sweeping streets and pavements clean daily, litter picking, and removing bird fouling, chewing gum, and graffiti. Let’s look in a bit more detail at what the council does to fight litter.
Keeping Cheltenham tidy
- The town centre is cleared of litter, swept, and jet-washed every morning. Main routes into the town are swept at least once per week.
- Areas outside of the town centres of cleared of litter twice per week or monthly, according to need.
- Fly-tipping is cleared up on the same days as the litter picks, or as soon as is possible.
- In the autumn, clearing leaves from streets and drains is given priority.
- Street cleaning is subject to inspection every month to make sure standards are adhered to.
Dealing with the litter from Race Week
Many people know Cheltenham for its very popular Race Week, and the council has harnessed the help of local friends groups to carry our litter picks to keep the town tidy and deal with any extra litter. The friends groups carry out litter picks of Pittville Park, Montpellier Park, Hatherley Park, Pilley Bridge, Benhall Park, and Winston Churchill Memorial Gardens all year round too.
Joining The Great British Spring Clean
The annual clean up, organised by Keep Britain Tidy, is running from 20th March until the 13th April, and half a million people will be out in force, cleaning up streets, parks, and beaches across the country. The campaign calls on volunteers to use a ‘three bags full’ system, where they put plastic bottles in one bag, aluminium cans in another, and use the third back for anything else.
Cheltenham Council supported last year’s event and collected the bags of rubbish after the clean up events. A spokesperson for Cheltenham Borough Council said that it was reviewing street cleansing, the provision of litter bins, and introducing ‘on the go’ recycling bins to increase the amount of litter that is recycled.
Introducing green space volunteers
Green space volunteers are people who want to make a difference by keeping the green and open spaces in Cheltenham beautiful and free from litter.
The volunteers work alongside the community ranger, and before each project they work on, they’re given a talk about what they are going to be doing and why and health and safety, before being given equipment like gloves and tools. Things that the volunteers ordinarily do include planting bulbs, clearing overgrown vegetation, cutting back shrubs, sowing wildflowers, weeding, and litter picking.
For the volunteers, it’s a chance to really make a difference in their communities, as well as being able to get out and meet people and stay active. If you live in the Cheltenham area, and you’d like to get involved, here are some of the projects and groups that run regularly:
- Hatherley Court Gardens: First Tuesday of the month, 9:30am to 12:30pm. Meet in the garden. Contact: [email protected]
- Friends of Pittville: First and third Thursday of the month, 9:00am to 11:00am. Meeting point varies according to tasks. Contact: [email protected]
- Sandford Park: Second Tuesday of the month, 9:30am to 12:30pm. Meet at Unwin Fountain. Contact: [email protected]
- Friends of Winston Churchill Garden (and Honeybourne Line): Second and fourth Thursday of the month, 9:00am to 12:00pm. Meet in garden (access from Lower High Street). Contact [email protected]
- Griffiths Avenue Local Nature Reserve: Third Tuesday of the month, 9:30am to 1:00pm. Contact: [email protected]
- Tewkesbury Road Rest Garden: Drop in gardening sessions are usually held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Please check with organiser. Meet at entrance to garden on Tewkesbury Road. Contact [email protected]
- Friends of Hatherley Park: Every Thursday, 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Meet at the park pavilion. Contact: [email protected]
- Friends of Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common (FOLK): Information on working parties can be found on the Leckhampton Hill web pages.
- Friends of Pilley Bridge Local Nature Reserve: First Saturday of the month, 10:30am to 12:30pm. Contact: [email protected]
- Benhall open space: Fourth Tuesday of the month, 12:30pm to 2:30pm. Meeting point depends on the task. Contact: [email protected]