MP joins community litter pick in Slindon
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert joined Slindon residents for a ‘spring clean’ of the village and woods, clearing litter on Saturday (9 March).
More than 40 people supported the annual community effort organised by Mike Imms, Chairman of SlindonLife, a village group which organises activities and initiatives. The MP spent over an hour picking up litter in the village, collecting a huge bag of rubbish from the verges.
A ‘mountain’ of litter was collected during the morning’s effort and was disposed of by Arun District’s Council’s waste collector Biffa in the early afternoon.
Mike Imms said: “This has become something of an annual event and it went very well. We are fortunate to have such a public-spirited community who are proud of our village and want to keep it in good order.
“We have found that once the village is clear of litter it tends to stay relatively clear - and there seem to be three main reasons for this. Firstly, it makes people in the village more aware of littering and they tend to carry on collecting litter as an everyday habit, not just during special community litter picking events.
“Secondly, if a few bits of litter appear its easy and the work of moments for villagers to see it and pick up; but when there is a lot it is too daunting a task - people don’t know where to start.
“And finally, it seems that if the village is clear of litter people tend to drop less - they seem less likely to drop the first piece. Conversely, if an area is full of litter people seem to have less compunction about adding to it - it’s as if they think they didn’t start it and one more piece of litter won’t make any difference.”
The Countryside Alliance are promoting the ‘Great British Spring Clean’ run by Keep Britain Tidy which runs from 23 March to 23 April. They are encouraging supporters to organise a litter picking event in their local areas.
Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of Countryside Alliance, said: “There is some sort of purpose, even if selfish or acquisitive, behind most crime and anti-social behaviour, but I have never been able to work out the logic of littering. It costs no more and takes no more effort to put rubbish in a bin than it does to wind down a car window and throw it on to the verge yet some people seem to find the latter irresistible. At this time of year most of us will get that sinking feeling as the low vegetation reveals the annual crop of fast food containers, drink cans and plastic wrappers decorating even the most rural of roads.”
Mr Herbert said: “I was very happy to help Slindon residents with their annual litter-pick.
“It is revolting to see so much litter in our beautiful South Downs villages and towns. It is mostly all the same sort of rubbish – crisp bags, sweet wrappings, plastic bottles and fast food containers – which a selfish minority have thoughtlessly thrown out of their vehicles.
“West Sussex councils spent vast sums each year clearing up this litter, and the cost in Arun district alone is more than £1 million a year. I’d like to see zero tolerance of littering, with tough penalties for litterbugs, good education programmes and better incentives for recycling.”
1. Photograph: Nick Herbert with Mike Imms (right of Nick) and some of the Slindon litter pick volunteers.
2. For more information about SlindonLife see www.slindon.com
3. For more information about Arun’s Clean Streets programme see https://www.arun.gov.uk/clean-streets.
4. For more information about the Countryside Alliance Great British Spring Clean see https://www.countryside-alliance.org/news/countryside-alliance-announced-as-community-partner-for-the-great-british-spring-clean.