Litter clearance campaign launch
A Berwick councillor has backed a campaign calling on the public to do their bit to reduce roadside litter levels.
Coun Catherine Seymour, member for Berwick North on Northumberland County Council, is supporting Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean.
She said: “I have been receiving a number of complaints about litter and dumping of rubbish about the town and on the A1 around Berwick.
“Whilst the vast majority of members of the public and drivers dispose of rubbish properly, for those that do not they are costing everyone.
“Cleaning up litter costs Northumberland County Council around £2.6million per year.
“This campaign is a reminder to those that drop litter to do their bit to keep Berwick tidy, home to many residents and businesses that attracts many tourists to our town.”
The Great British Spring Clean campaign takes place between March 22 and April 23.
Northumberland County Council will be encouraging and supporting groups, individuals and their own staff and councillors who want to ‘do their bit’ to help clear up the litter from streets, parks and beaches.
Officers will be on hand to give advice, and essential equipment can be loaned to groups who want to collect litter. Council teams can also arrange to pick up the bagged waste afterwards.
Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment and local services, said: ‘We are so proud of our beautiful county and are determined to keep it that way. We all have our part to play in keeping Northumberland clean.
To loan equipment such as litter pickers, hi-vis vests, gloves and bags email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01670 622997.
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Around 200,000 bags of litter are collected from the motorway network every year and that is why Highways England is taking part.
Highways England’s head of customer and operational requirements, Freda Rashdi, said: “Litter is an important national issue and we’re pleased to be able to support the Great British Spring Clean.
“Litter is not only unsightly as well as a risk to wildlife and the environment, but it also puts our workers at risk collecting it and it diverts time and money that could be better spent on improving the network.
“If people don’t drop litter in the first place it wouldn’t need to be picked up – so we’re urging people to take their litter home instead of tossing it out of their car windows.”
Allison Ogden Newton, chief executive at Keep Britain Tidy said: “I’m delighted that Highways England has joined forces with us again this year to support the campaign and give our network a spring clean.
“Our roadside verges are a haven for wildlife and we know that millions of small mammals are killed every year by litter that has been thrown from vehicles by thoughtless drivers.
“Our army of up to 500,000 volunteers will be delighted to see that Highways England is supporting their efforts by cleaning up the places that they can’t get to – our high-speed road network and slip roads, where so much litter is tossed out of car windows.”
During a similar purge last year, while also contending with ‘Beast from the East’, more than 8,000 bags of litter were collected, and Highways England expects to exceed that target this year.
But besides the usual takeaway wrappers or bottles that have been picked up, in previous years some of the more unusual items have included push bikes, fridges, settees and wallets which will also be removed if needed.