It's bad enough seeing discarded bottles or crisp wrappers floating around the street, but the flytipping that Translink has to deal with is on another scale altogether.
Last week the company collected an amazing eight skips of waste that had been tossed over perimeter fencing separating the railway line in Antrim from neighbouring residential areas.
The company teamed up with Antrim Borough Council, the Housing Executive and community representatives from Parkhall estate to carry out a major blitz as part of our Big Spring Clean campaign. The volunteers cleared rubbish from the road bridge near High Street in the town centre to the electricity sub station, using a mini excavator to clear larger items such as a dumped sofa.
Other spoils included old TV sets, carpet and lino, bedroom furniture, black binliners filled with garden cuttings, a child’s trike and highchair along with the usual litter.
Translink’s group environmental manager Andy Bate said: “As a large transport organisation operating throughout Northern Ireland, we are committed to environmental care and actively take steps to address litter.
“Aside from fly-tipping’s environmental impact, it’s also a major safety issue and could result in serious or even potentially fatal accidents — these are hazards our passengers and employees should not have to face.
“We take illegal dumping very seriously and we would like to remind the public that individuals responsible for dumping waste
illegally will be prosecuted. We would urge anyone who witnesses illegally dumping on Translink property to contact their local council with further details.”
The clean-up was part of the Big Spring Clean, a joint venture by the Belfast Telegraph, Tidy Northern Ireland and DOE Rethink Waste, which aims to galvanise tens of thousands of people across Northern Ireland to tackle the litter blighting their towns and countryside this April.
The goal is to persuade 25,000 people to get involved and so far an amazing 20,000 people have signed up.
The Big Spring Clean needs your help. For information on how to join our ‘green army’ during the month-long event this April, go to www.bigspringcleanni.org. Alternatively you can talk to your local council or ring Tidy Northern Ireland on 028 9073 6920. The Big Spring Clean now boasts 13,600 volunteers who have gathered 122 tonnes of rubbish.