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Editor's Viewpoint: Let's all mobilise to end litter blight

Published 13/11/2009

Today this newspaper is launching a zero tolerance blitz on litter.

It is mobilising its army of readers to rid the province of the eyesores caused by people carelessly - or deliberately - discarding their rubbish on the streets of our cities, towns and villages and across the countryside.

The Big Clean-up has been launched after it was revealed that local authorities spend a staggering £30m a year clearing up rubbish. In these financially straitened times that is money which could be used in many other useful ways, in education, health services or even reducing the rates. Considered in that light, the actions of those who despoil our neighbourhoods are despicable.

Unsightly fly-tipping or build-up of rubbish is not only an eyesore, it also undermines pride in an area and leads to a decline in civic standards. No-one wants to live in a grotty area. Our campaign is offering an alternative. We want people to work with local authorities and organisations like Tidy NI to get the province gleaming.

Most people have a pride in their local community. We only have to see the enormous efforts that are made annually across the province in competitions like Best Kept Town or Ulster In Bloom. People from all walks of life come together to show off their neighbourhoods to best advantage. Their only reward is the satisfaction gained by creating a better environment for everyone to live in.

It is exactly that spirit that we hope to tap into with our campaign. We all know areas that could do with a clean-up, be it a local beach, a back alley, a fly-tipping site or a scenic walk littered by careless visitors. Local intervention can work wonders and send out a message to those who dump the rubbish that such action will no longer be tolerated.

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