Volunteers join forces in community spring clean

Wednesday, 14th March 2018

DOZENS of bags of rubbish, four shopping trollies, two bicycles and a bench frame were among the waste and litter collected by community-spirited volunteers during a spring clean event last weekend.

Willing volunteers of all ages rolled up their sleeves and helped tidy large parts of the Bolebridge ‘egg’ roundabout near the Castle Grounds, and the water channel that runs through it, during a four-hour community litter pick on Saturday, March 10.

The event was organised by Tamworth Borough Council as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘Great British Spring Clean’ campaign, which aims to bring people across the country together to help tidy our streets, parks and countryside.

It was supported by volunteers from Tamworth Borough Council’s Street Scene department, Tame Valley Wetlands and Wild About Tamworth, local nature groups, people on Community Payback schemes and members of the public. Organisers were pleased with the turnout despite the poor weather forecast and gloomy conditions.

The litter haul included several hundred glass and plastic bottles. As Tamworth water courses eventually feed into the North Sea via the River Anker, River Tame, the Trent and the Humber, plastic pollution from this area can contribute to the eight million tonnes of plastic dumped into the sea each year – despite being completely landlocked.

Mayor John Chesworth

Mayor John Chesworth took part in the event.

Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr John Chesworth, was among the volunteers who took part on the day. He said: “Despite the poor weather, the people that did turn up were more than productive in collecting several bags worth of rubbish. We concentrated on the Bolebridge egg and made massive improvements in terms of litter picking and tidying.

“I thought this was a really worthwhile event as part of the Great British Spring Clean between Tamworth Borough Council’s Street Scene department, Wild About Tamworth and the Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme in trying to engage members of the public.

“As much as the council and other organisations want the town to be tidy, ultimately we all share the responsibility for keeping the streets litter free and I would like to see other events like this taking place in the future. The enthusiasm by those taking part was quite uplifting and is hopefully something we can build on.”

Tamworth Borough Council Street Scene teams collect litter and waste across the area seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year, including bank holidays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

On average they sweep around 80 tonnes of litter and detritus from the streets every month and manually pick up around 40 tonnes of litter and fly tipping waste.

The mechanically swept up waste is transferred to a reclamation site in Coleshill where oils and other recyclables are extracted. Of the handpicked waste, scrap metals, electrical items and hazardous waste are removed and the rest is sent to a ‘waste to energy’ processing plant where it is converted into electricity.

As a result, less than one tonne of waste has been sent directly to landfill in the last 12 months by Tamworth Borough Council’s Street Scene department.