Rubbish Roundup 27th May
Highways England has joined forces with Keep Britain Tidy to give some of Somerset’s busiest roads a spring clean in an 8-week campaign to reduce litter. Thousands of bags of rubbish have been collected during the campaign, and Highways England has taken the opportunity to remind drivers that roadside litter is a serious safety risk to workers who clean it up, as well as being unsightly and a threat to wildlife and the environment.
A spokesman for Highways England said that it collects litter throughout the year, but it wanted to carry out a heavy duty campaign in the hope that it would encourage drivers to take their litter home.
Problems with litter have led to a landowner blocking access to a much-loved beauty spot in Snowdonia. Rubbish including dirty nappies, food packaging, beer cans, and plastic bottles has been dumped at the popular Blue Lake near Gwynedd in recent months.
The landowner has now permanently blocked access to the lake and told councillors he has ‘had enough.’ A local councillor said he’s a fair man who didn’t mind people visiting if they respected the area, but after the litter dumping in recent months, he made the decision to close the site.
The councillor added that nobody wins in situations like this, and that a few mindless litter louts have ruined the place for everyone.
Local wild swimmers who used to swim in the lake said they are heartbroken at the closure, but added that the situation should be used to show litter bugs that their actions impact on everyone else.
Any school children in East Ayrshire who mindlessly discard sweet wrappers in the playground better watch out. The local authority has just approved a scheme where high school students will be fined £80 if they are caught littering. The fine will be withdrawn if they agree to attend a supervised litter pick. The council say that the scheme has already been trialled at one school and it proved to be a success. It remains to be seen whether handing out fines is a long-term answer, or would litter education in schools be a better place to start? After all, the children wouldn’t end up paying the fines, it would be their parents.
But not every child is a litter bug either. A six-year-old girl in Stoke-on-Trent got so fed up of seeing litter near her school that she organised a petition with her dad’s help and presented it to the council. The council ended up installing a litter bin near the school. Picking up litter is everyone’s business.