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Letter: Please Take Your Litter Home

Published on: 3 Jun, 2020
Updated on: 3 Jun, 2020

From Maddy Redpath

R4GV borough councillor for Holy Trinity

Firstly, I would like to warn readers of The Guildford Dragon NEWS that this is a moany letter about litter, so if you think leaving litter is okay and there is no problem you can stop reading now.

Litter at Newlands Corner

Over the last week, I have had a huge number of emails regarding littering in our parks and countryside. This space is kept to an incredibly high standard by Guildford Borough Council’s Parks & Countryside team who have worked tirelessly to ensure that, once the lockdown measures are eased, we can all enjoy our much-loved open spaces.

I cannot express how immensely disappointing it is to have to send council staff out to litter pick when now, more than ever, there is so much more important work to be done. It is not their job to litter pick; it is an extra task they do to maintain high standards.

This is not the time to test an already incredibly busy council. Many staff have been reallocated to carry out essential tasks such as delivering food and prescriptions. Some are ill and on leave. The hard work the Parks & Countryside team have done and are continuing to do is not properly recognised.

Litter on Whitmoor Common, off Salt Box Road.

I have heard comments such as: “Why don’t the council come out more frequently?” “Why don’t the council add more bins?” “Why don’t we hire litter pickers?” Is this really what people want their council taxes spent on,  picking up litter because someone couldn’t be bothered to take it home with them? I think not.

I plead with all residents to:

  • take your rubbish home with you, especially if the bins are full;
  • let the council know, via our website, about litter problems, eg that the bins are full;
  • ensure that your children, parents, friends, aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins all know the negative impacts littering has on our environment, and council funds and resources;
  • please enjoy and protect our open spaces as much as possible.

Rant over, if you made it this far, please go enjoy the last of the sunshine.

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test 12 Responses to Letter: Please Take Your Litter Home

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    June 3, 2020 at 9:16 am

    While agreeing with the “Don’t leave litter, leave only footprints, take only memories” message, we at the Riverside Nature Park have been asking for a litter bin for over 15 years. It was removed during the Northern Ireland unrest. So we have two street cleansing bags tied to the fence adjacent the dog pooh bin filled every week by voluntary litter pickers not ‘connected’ to GBC, who don’t see why they should take other peoples litter home.

    Considering the dog pooh team collect these bags for us why not a proper litter bin at the Riverside Nature car park?

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    June 3, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Well said Maddy Redpath.

    I was disgusted at the amount of litter strewn around the bins at Newlands Corner.

    Decent people should point out to those littering that they should take their dirty nappies, dog poo bags etc home with them, when the bins are full.

  3. David Middleton Reply

    June 3, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Well said.

    Although I fear it will fall upon deaf ears, as the sort of people who leave this mess will not have a single shred of civic responsibility in them.

    Looking at the waste, a significant proportion of it is glass, paper, card and plastic, all of which should be taken home and put in the relevant recycling bin.

    Bearing in mind also, that the containers were carried to these venues full, the individuals concerned are presumably capable of carrying them away empty and considerably lighter.

    As for food waste, anyone with half a brain will surely be aware that a tied up plastic bag will not last more than a few minutes before being ripped open by hungry foxes, squirrels and even pet dogs, seeking to devour the contents and spreading the wrappings about.

    But of course, as Buzz Lightyear says, “There’s no sign of intelligent life here”.

  4. Jan Messinger Reply

    June 3, 2020 at 11:29 am

    I couldn’t agree more with Cllr Maddy Redpath’s comments.

    I walked past a GBC litter bin yesterday that was empty. Today the same bin is full. It’s in a layby. Now more people are out and about they assume everything is back to normal. Far from it.

    It is so sad to see disregarded PPE equipment in the countryside too. Why are people so thoughtless? Anyone looking at Shalford Park litter bins on Saturday night would have thought a concert had been hosted. Drinks bottles everywhere.

    Why don’t residents take pride in where they live? Take your litter home. Or volunteer and pick up some yourself.

  5. Steve Grove Reply

    June 3, 2020 at 11:35 am

    My thoughts exactly. I did send to The Dragon a letter and photo taken at Newlands Corner at the end of May (although it was not published) showing the overflowing bin and as much again littered around it. As Dave Middleton says, if you take it there, why can’t you take it back home and recycle that which can be recycled. Lazy, good-for-nothing “somethings” comes to mind.

  6. Wayne Smith Reply

    June 3, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Well said Cllr Maddy Redpath.

    May I suggest the council should follow the lead of the Australians who have a wonderfully direct way of expressing things and where it’s common to see notices advising, “Don’t be a Tosser!”

    Other councils in the UK have also adopted that campaign.

    This morning, I was heartened to see that the bins at Newlands Corner and the surrounding rubbish overspills had finally been cleared. Four or five black bags piled up at each bin. The car park looked like it had also been litter picked (the amount of rubbish so obviously dumped where the cars parked over the last two weeks told its own story.

    I may be wrong but I think it’s the operator of the cafe that deserves our thanks for the clean-up operation today? Although not open for business, they appeared to be on-site and making preparations for re-opening. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

  7. Paul Robinson Reply

    June 3, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    I would also like to express my support of Cllr Maddy Redpath’s letter. On Monday morning I walked up the towpath to Stoke Lock where I found somebody had gathered up all their litter and a plastic bag, that was almost bursting, only to hang it on a gate post for someone else to dispose of. Today at the same spot there were empty, trodden on beers cans just thrown on the ground.

    I was told that on the A3 side of Riverside Lake it was strewn with KFC debris.

    Unfortunately, those who do this are not the type who read Guildford Dragon readers’ letters.

  8. Jim Allen Reply

    June 3, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    What needs to be remembered is that this is not their “backyard” so they don’t have to keep it clean. Last weekend, with over 100 cars in Bowers Lane and the car park, I didn’t recognize any cars belonging to visitors. They all appeared to be “out of towners” parking on the junction, blocking access and leaving their rubbish in someone else’s backyard.

    Perhaps if their collected rubbish was dumped on their front doorsteps they might see things differently.

  9. Beverley Healing Reply

    June 3, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Excellent article about litter. Totally agree with everything that has been said. We have had the pleasure of living in such a beautiful area during this pandemic and it is such a shame to see it being left in such a mess by people who don’t care.

  10. Gina Gasson Reply

    June 3, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Love the “Don’t be a Tosser” comment, can Guildford be that adventurous? GBC has the power to issue on-the-spot fines for littering. Surely after a few of those have been handed out it will stop this outrageous behaviour.

  11. Ben Darnton Reply

    June 3, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    Well said Maddy Redpath but as Dave Middleton says those who think it’s ok to dump their litter and soiled nappies everywhere after enjoying the wonderful local countryside sadly aren’t the types to read The Guildford Dragon or to feel bad about their actions.

    I personally was very pleased when parking charges were suspended at our local beauty spots but on this evidence perhaps if it kept those less responsible out by charging to park it was a wise idea after all.

  12. Clive Inwood Reply

    July 21, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Came late to this and fully agree with the sentiment I do find a problem locally with picking up litter. Although living in Guildford, I and a few friends do a weekly litter pick up at Frensham Great Pond where they have a large supply of litter containers.

    I thought about doing the same at Whitmoor, my nearest common. However having experienced the major delays at our local tip, I have reluctantly decided not to. I do not have the time to wait in those queues, and leaving a bag next to the common bin would only increase the problem as it would likely be ripped apart by dogs and wildlife,

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