Rubbish Roundup - The Festive Edition
We start our roundup of the litter headlines in Preston, where the city council has apologised to a volunteer litter picker who called time on his hobby after being confronted by a council walker on his daily litter pick.
As he went to empty a small carrier bag of litter into a public bin, the man was duly told by the worker that he shouldn’t have done it because the bin bag had just been changed. The man was told to take the litter home and put it in his own bin.
The man was astounded and complained to the council. He stopped picking litter while he awaited a response.
Many locals were sad to see the man and his wife give up their litter picking hobby. The couple had started walking for health reasons and decided they would pick up litter along the way. They managed to collect between four and five bags of rubbish between them every day, and would empty what they had collected into public bins.
In his letter to the council, the man asked if what the council worker had told them was correct and said he would have no choice but to stop picking up litter as he didn’t have the space in his own bin for any more rubbish.
A spokesman for the city council said it had spoken to the couple and thanked them for their hard work. It added that the couple had received an apology, and said that it’s always willing to support anyone who wants to keep their local community clean and tidy.
Next, we go to Abergavenny, where litter pickers have been celebrating a successful year after reforming their town clean-up group.
Keep Abergavenny Tidy (KAT) has collected 267 bags of rubbish since the group reformed in March 2019, and now there are dozens of volunteers who join in to keep the town tidy.
The group has targeted different areas of the town during its clean-ups, and around 15 bags of rubbish are collected during each litter pick.
The group is set to start the new year as it means to go on with two community litter picks on Saturday 4th and Tuesday 28th January. In the new year, volunteers will be donning hi-vis vests with the Keep Abergavenny Tidy logo, in Welsh and English, of course. It’s hoped that when people see the group out doing their thing, they will refrain from littering and might even be inspired to join in.
For more information about the group and its litter picks, visit their Facebook page.
On to Swindon, where a local newspaper, The Swindon Advertiser, is calling on its readers to join their campaign to tackle the scourge of litter in the town. It says that piles of rubbish on the streets and strewn over its green spaces are ruining the town for residents and visitors, and enough is enough.
The paper is asking readers to join in with litter picks around the town and to make sure they always put their rubbish in the bin.
The Manchester Road area of the town, The Meads in Eldene, Corporation Road, and Broadgreen are litter hotspots and are the subject of frequent complaints.
Manchester Road has been called a health hazard, as mattresses, rubbish, and waste are often dumped in alleyways, attracting rats and maggots. According to residents, there’s a similar situation in the Broadgreen area. One resident said he parked in a local car park and there was rubbish up the stairs, along with blood-stained tissues, and drug paraphernalia.
The South Swindon Parish Council chairman has backed the paper’s campaign. He said that anything that can be done to make the town better both for residents, and in environmental terms, is well worth supporting. The parish council has previously supported litter picking groups by providing them with advice and supplying equipment like hi-vis jackets, bags, litter-pickers, and gloves.
A spokesperson for Swindon Borough Council said it also supports the campaign. They added that the council engages with residents on issues like litter regularly. It goes into schools to educate pupils about the impact of litter on the environment, and it works with community groups who carry out litter picks. The council has urged residents to get involved with litter picks as a great way of helping the environment and staying active.
The paper’s campaign will run throughout 2020, and it wants to make litter on the town’s streets a thing of the past. It is urging people to get involved by helping it identify the problem areas, and then helping to organise litter picks to turn them around. If you live in the Swindon area and you’d like to get involved, email the paper’s editor at [email protected] and use ‘Let’s Make Litter History’ in the subject line.
And finally, on to Radcliffe in Bury, where local schoolchildren have been doing their bit to clean up the streets. Children from Gorsefield Primary School were challenged to get involved with their local community a bit more after doing a wellbeing survey in class.
One of the first things they came up with was doing a litter pick in the area around their school. Twelve pupils got involved in the first litter pick and they thoroughly enjoyed it. They were shocked at how much litter there was and pledged to not drop litter themselves. They also said that if they saw anyone dropping litter, they would tell them to pick it up.
The school plan to organise more litter picks in the new year.