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Community call for action on litter

25 May 2021 : Council news, Community, Environment

A staggering three skips have been filled with litter collected from residential streets, highway verges and open spaces across the district in just two months.

SWT has been targeting problem areas throughout April and May making sure our streets and open spaces are clean and welcoming for residents and visitors as we come out of lockdown.

A team of three litter pickers have visited around 60 open spaces and estates in Taunton, Wellington and West Somerset so far and will be continuing their rounds over the coming weeks. This is on top of the normal work done by the Council’s street cleansing contractor.

They have also been busy linking up with the grass cutting teams to litter pick the day before the verges are cut in problem areas such as the main routes into Taunton and Wellington, minimising the amount of rubbish that is shredded.

Each of the three 15-yard skips filled so far has weighed approximately two tonnes when taken away for separation. This is in addition to ten shopping trolleys collected.

Cllr Andy Sully, Executive Member for Environmental Services, said: “I am astonished at the amount of litter that has been collected from our streets, verges and open spaces in such a short time and would like to thank the team that has worked so hard tackle this problem.

“The Council takes its responsibility for keeping our district clean and safe very seriously and will always respond to reports of littering in the district but it would be so much better if there was a collective sense of responsibility for our environment with less rubbish dropped so carelessly in the first place.”

As part of the initiative to keep our district litter free the Council is calling on members of the public and community groups to join the fight against litter.

It has already supported six community groups who have held litter picks in Taunton, Wellington, Trull, Pitminster, Minehead and Exford, collecting approximately 25 bags of mixed waste.

The next organised litter pick is taking place over the coming Bank Holiday weekend involving around 20 people in Stogursey.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, said: “I am grateful to these groups and individuals for taking the initiative and joining us in the fight against litter. The volume of litter collected by our team and the volunteers shows just how important it is that we tackle this problem together and encourage people to be more socially responsible.”

The Great British Spring Clean is taking place from 28 May to 13 June 2021 and SWT is keen to support anyone taking part as well as anyone who takes part in or co-ordinates litter clearing efforts across the district.

The Council can help by supplying equipment and disposing bags of litter that have been collected.  Please contact the customer services team at enquiries@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk for more information.

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