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Sunday October 13 2019

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In Full . . .

Clean green scheme

Posted on July 29 2019 at 2:59:36

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Kate Van Der Plank, district councillor for Alvechurch Village ward, has launched a campaign to make the area cleaner and greener – taking inspiration from an Alvechurch resident who more than does his bit towards keeping the place tidy.

Elwyn Williams, who is often seen picking up litter around the village, keeps detailed records of what he collects and shares the results with the district council, revealing the scale of the problem.

“I noticed a lot of litter as I was driving along the roads, and decided to do something about it – and since I retired last year, it’s also good exercise for me,” says Elwyn.

He began by collecting litter from the streets within the village, but has now increased his beat to encompass almost all of Alvechurch parish, plus parts of Tutnall & Cobley and Barnt Green parishes, covering about 40km of roads. He spends about 10 hours a week, walking about 15–20 km.

“I initially give each section a deep clean, removing all the litter that’s been there for years. Then I litter-pick each road on a rotational basis. I’ve got to know the hotspots.”

In the past 12 months up to June 2019, Elwyn has collected 226 bags containing 13,607 major items. In June alone, he found 1,533 items.

He uses old compost bags which are strong enough for multiple use, and goes through the litter to see what can be recycled, either at his own home or at recycling depots.

While he’s out and about, he also notes down other problems such as fly tipping and potholes, and logs these with Worcestershire Highways or the council.

Totals for June 2018 – June 2019

4,527 cans  (nearly all beer/soft drinks)

3,578 bottles (1,040 glass / 2,538 plastic)

1,260 crisp packets

1,065 cigarette packets

1,397 paper/plastic cups

833 bags

“Elwyn’s records are a great way to get the message across and hopefully make people think twice before dropping litter,” says Coun Van Der Plank, whose Cleaner Greener Alvechurch campaign will see more litter pickers available for the public to use – but the real aim is to get people to stop dropping litter in the first place.

“There will soon be more bins on The Meadows – when the existing bins get full, people put litter next to them but it blows away. I don’t know why they don’t just take it home!”

“It’s really frustrating,” adds Simon Ellison, place team co-ordinator for Redditch and Bromsgrove’s Environmental Services. “And it’s amazing what people throw out. Not just with litter, but also fly tipping, which has been particularly bad lately.”

Coun Van Der Plank plans to have a litter picker available at The Meadows, to encourage people to do a couple of minutes’ collecting whenever they visit, and there are plans for new signage around the village urging residents to keep it clean.

“I also want us to reduce packaging, especially single-use plastic. Some of the shops are looking into this already – you can take your own container to the butcher’s rather than having a plastic bag, and the cafés are using non-plastic straws.”

If you’d like to be involved in the campaign, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)   You can report fly tipping via http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk or http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk, or call Environmental Services on 01527 881188.

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