Merton's big spring clean to tackle litter bugs

Wimbledon Guardian: Cleaning up: Councillor Stephen Alambritis with litter-pickers Cleaning up: Councillor Stephen Alambritis with litter-pickers

Councillors and residents determined to banish litter from the borough donned rubber gloves and high-vis jackets for a huge spring clean.

Merton's big spring clean, a day dedicated to cleaning streets, saw ten wards take action against rubbish.

Dan Goode, founder of anti-litter campaign group Merton Matters, came up with the idea for a clean-up event after becoming fed up with rubbish blighting Merton's green spaces.

He said: "It was amazing to see all types of people picking up litter and the weather was lovely. We really hope we can do it again with all the wards."

In Ravensbury alone, volunteers filled 11 bags for landfill, 16 bags for re-cycling, 11 bags of mixed litter and made eight reports of fly-tipping.

Councillor Judy Saunders, cabinet member for environmental cleanliness and parking, said: "It was fantastic to see so many people who want to do something to help look after their borough.

"Every year we have to spend £5m on clearing litter that people have dropped as well as removing fly tips and resolving other environmental crimes. It’s time to call a stop to littering."

Merton has a reputation for uncleanliness after being ruled 'dirtiest UK borough' in a 2010 survey, with nearly half the borough's streets strewn with litter.

The council has pledged to fight litter, publishing its own litter code and teaming up with Love Clean Streets to launch a smartphone app for reporting litter and fly-tipping.

It has also rolled out gum and butt bins to reduce the amount of gum and cigarette butts people drop on the streets.


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