More than two million pieces of litter are dropped in the UK every day and littering has economic, legal and environmental impacts on our communities.
The cost to the taxpayer for street cleaning is over £1 billion a year cleaning up other people’s mess and chasing up the culprits if caught. Roadside cleaning endangers the lives of council employees and volunteers whilst the effects it has on plants and animals is detrimental coupled with losses to our all important tourism industry.
The problem is nationwide but during lockdown it has become even more apparent across our own beautiful region with fly tipping and littering increasing and set to become even worse as summer approaches.
Locals Jim McLelland and Chris Driscall have set up litter picking teams, taking guidance from the Council regarding risk assessments and safety. Up to 46 bags were collectively gathered between Crossmichael, Clarebrand and Bridge of Urr alone and the Community Assets team withing D&G Council must be thanked for assisting the volunteers.
Councillor Pauline Drysdale is keen to draw attention to the huge number of cans, crisp bags, plastic juice bottles, sandwich wrappers and bottles or urine that are being found in great quantities across the Stewartry. ‘At a time where we are becoming more environmentally aware I am constantly horrified at the type of people who continue to disrespect our beautiful countryside and waste tax payers money. Whilst volunteers are kindly helping out it’s not acceptable that both ourselves and Council employees are putting our lives at risk to combat other people’s laziness. In Clarebrand in one stretch alone 24 Red Bull cans were found and I’d urge this person to seriously re think the consequences of their actions. Please continue to communicate to those around you and tell them to give their litter a lift home.’
Local teenager Amy Smith from CDHS added, ‘We are being taught the importance of respecting the environment and the world we live in and I therefore can’t understand why people continue to do this. I hope that with the Climate Emergency peoples’ attitudes will change. I have heard that Jim McLelland and Chris Driscoll are working on a poster campaign alongside local primary schools to spread this message which is good news going forward.’
*** Should you wish to help litter pick please contact the Council for guidance before doing so as there are safety implications. ***