Thousands of people will descend on Belfast next Friday to watch the first stage of the Giro d'Italia – and the city will be presenting its best face thanks to our Big Spring Clean.
Around 20 volunteers cleared litter from Stranmillis Embankment yesterday to make sure the riverside section of the route is clean when the eyes of the world are upon us.
The Belfast Telegraph joined forces with Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Belfast City Council, Queen's University PEC and the Lyric Theatre to gather 11 bags of rubbish blighting the Stranmillis roundabout car park and riverside route. Refreshments were provided by Sainsbury's and McDonald's.
Among the sweet wrappers and cigarette butts littering the area were some peculiar finds, including a dumped tent with socks, T-shirts and plastic bags.
Volunteers also picked up a numberplate dumped in roadside shrubbery, rubber gloves, an onion, an umbrella, bags of dog dirt and 24 beer bottles found close to a recycling bin.
The clean-up is the final event in our Big Spring Clean litter campaign in with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and DoE Rethink Waste, aimed at galvanising 100,000 people to clean up their area this spring.
Alan Clark, chief executive of NITB, said: "People want to show the best face of Northern Ireland to the world when it is broadcast into 125 million households next week. With coverage on this scale, it is more important than ever to take pride in where we live and keep Northern Ireland looking beautiful."