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Letter: We All Need to Take Responsibility For the Litter That Surrounds Us

Published on: 17 Apr, 2021
Updated on: 17 Apr, 2021

The road is always a mess

From: Dr Peter Shaw

Over the Easter school holidays, my family and a friend decided to do a little voluntary civic duty, litter-picking near the community recycling centre and the sewage treatment works on the Slyfield industrial estate.

Regularly, as a family, we walk or cycle this cut from the industrial estate to the Wey. This road is always a mess, strewn with rubbish, a lot of it probably blown by the wind from the refuse tip over the barrier, but there’s also fly-tipping and careless people.

So, we got our gloves, bin-bags, grabbed our litter-pickers and started. As expected, it was grim work, but it paid off and after a couple of hours, we thought we’d made an impact and that was rewarding. It was a good experience.

Making an impact – a good experience.

But one site left our litter-picking party thoroughly disgusted. Behind the Vines Mini showroom, there is a part of their premise that has the potential to be a hide-hole. On the public side of the fence was a huge pile of cigarette ends.

We asked Vines Mini and they denied any of their workers were guilty but said they would review their internal CCTV cameras. They suggested blame may lie on the workers from the recycling centre next door.

A huge pile of cigarette butts

Whoever left that mess it’s disgusting behaviour and those responsible need to stop it. It’s illegal, lazy and harmful to wildlife and the environment. We believe companies also need to show community spirit and not only ensure their own premises are clean but also the area around their properties.

Some would argue this is what taxes are for, a valid argument, but we all need to do our bit even if you are an individual, a company, or a council. If you see someone litter or throw a cigarette end, please try to challenge it if you feel able. If we don’t challenge these actions this mess will never change.

There is a local group called Guildford and Woking Litter-Picking, Surrey, UK on Facebook, a good source of information and a place to find out about local litter-picking events. Hope to see you out there soon.

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