Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Volunteers hit the town and over an hour later 120 bags of litter are off their streets

A mountain of litter reared its ugly head in Comber’s town square after the latest Big Spring Clean — and was promptly cleared away by staff from Ards Borough Council.

Volunteers piled up more than 100 bags of litter they had collected around the town in the clean-up as a message to litter bugs about the impact their activities are having.

Alliance councillor Deborah Girvan organised the event as part of the Big Spring Clean campaign being promoted by the Belfast Telegraph, Tidy Northern Ireland and DoE Rethink Waste. We’re aiming to inspire tens of thousands of people across Northern Ireland to clear up the litter blighting their towns and countryside this spring.

The councillor was joined in her mission by DUP council colleague Trevor Cummings and more than 30 volunteers, including 12 members of the Inler Angling Club — filling an impressive 120 black biodegradable binbags in an hour-and-a-half of litter picking.

“The majority of items picked up in the car parks, roads, under hedges and in private property areas were plastic bags, bottles, cans, tins, sweet wrappers, fast food containers, chip papers and empty cigarette packets which had been thrown out of car windows or dumped by people walking along the footpaths.

Larger items included a fire extinguisher and the base of a bed,” councillor Girvan said.

Meanwhile, the Comber River and its banks were given a good spring clean from the Killinchy Road roundabout to the back of Comber Leisure Centre.

A spokesperson for the Inler Angling Club said: “The last time our club members cleaned the same stretch of the river was in February of this year. It is a sad reflection on the people of Comber that such a large quantity of rubbish was removed in such a short space of time including a bicycle, parts of a settee, a pram, a broken child’s scooter, and umbrellas.”

Ards Borough Council’s estimated spend on street cleaning for 2012/13 is £1,020,588 (5.6%) of its total budget. Combined with waste collections and disposing of waste through recycling and landfill, a total of £6,823,311 (37.4%) of its budget is spent annually keeping the borough clean and free from litter.

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