It may seem like a cosmetic exercise but clean streets have emerged as one of the most worrying social issues for people in the UK.
A recent survey by Keep Britain Tidy revealed that people are most worried about the credit crunch and violent crimes, but local environmental quality comes in third.
Littering and fly-tipping can damage the environment, affect our health, blight economic prospects and even create hotspots where criminal activity flourishes, according to Ian Humphreys, director of Tidy Northern Ireland, which is joining forces with the Belfast Telegraph to tackle this province-wide scourge of filth.
Earlier this week we kickstarted our campaign by going out and photographing a gallery of ‘grot spots’ that are in desperate need of a good clean-up. If you know of anyone tackling these eyesores, take a photo, email us and let us know.
“Rubbish is detrimental to the environment, it’s bad for your health and if you live in a grotty environment, you feel grotty and respond accordingly. It can lead to places becoming hotspots for other criminal activity,” Ian says.
At Crosscollyer Street in north Belfast residents have suffered from the scourge of anti-social elements using empty ground as a dumping area. Local Tom Cheddy said: “It only takes one person to dump unwanted material at the site and the floodgates open.
“If they see a gap at all, they throw stuff in. They would need to put barricades all around it.”
In Suffolk Road in west Belfast residents have been left frustrated after a plot of land became a dumping ground. One resident said: “I wish they would do something with it.”