Sunday, 17 February 2013

BBC: "Litter Wars"

Link to BBC web site

"Meet the litter vigilantes: the men and women who care so passionately about the cleanliness of their streets and parks that they are prepared to take matters into their own hands, confronting literrers and rolling up their sleeves to clear up your mess.

It is a big problem; 30 million tonnes of litter are dumped on British streets every year. It costs a billion pounds a year to clear up, and hard-pressed councils cannot always cope with the daily tide of dog mess, drinks cans, sweet wrappers and cigarette ends.

"Some vigilantes, like retired teacher and soldier John, in Shropshire, prefer the direct, head-on tactic he adopted when he saw a couple dropping litter: 'I ran up to them and said: "This is yours! We don't want it; take it home or I'll make a citizens arrest".'

"John's approach might seem extreme, but he is not alone in his irritation at anti-social behaviour. Rik mounts early morning video vigils in Cornwall to film dog foulers and passes his evidence to the council. In Derbyshire we meet Mike, who is infuriated by the dog mess which fouls his local park. He collected 27 bags in one 60 minute patrol.

"Some vigilantes adopt a gentler approach; Adrian, in Leicester, has harvested more than 50,000 drinks tins from his local streets. Owen, in Cornwall, loves to spend his spare time blitzing litter-strewn parks with a crew of mates - he finds it a good way of letting off steam from his role as a carer. And Jill, in North Yorkshire, mounts one of Britain's most unusual dog fouling campaigns - highlighting every dog mess on a popular footpath with a pink flag. After marking 72 poos, she runs out of flags."

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