A campaign to encourage locals and visitors to pick up litter in the town centre will be launched in Shaftesbury this week.
Alfred spoke with Town Clerk Claire Commons, who explained how the ‘Two Minute Litter Pick’ should work.
Two wooden signboards will soon become a fixture of our High Street. These ‘A’ boards are similar to the signs you often see outside cafés, but with some additions. “The ‘A’ board has places to store used carrier bags to put litter in. And there are some litter picks. People, as they’re walking past, can pick up a little pick and do two minutes of litter picking,” said Claire.
It is hoped that anyone seeing the sign, who has a few moments to spare, will be prompted to remove any nearby rubbish. Once they have completed their civic-minded deed they will be encouraged to spread the message. “There are social media hashtags for them to upload their pictures and share that they’ve done the pick. We’re going to do a photo launch on the 25th of June and hopefully, people will be snapping pictures and putting them on social media very quickly afterwards. We might even persuade the Mayor to do the first little pick,” said Claire.
At Tuesday’s Council meeting, Cllr George Hall suggested that the scheme is extended to the Ivy Cross area. The Hilltop Litter Picker volunteers say that part of the town is a litter hotspot because of the number of takeaway outlets. Claire says that the scheme is meant to centre on the High Street but as customers of nationals seem to be creating a lot of litter, the chains will be asked to take part.
“On the High Street, we find mostly that Costa is the biggest issue. At the far end of town, you’ve got Domino’s and KFC and they generate a lot of litter,” said Claire. The Council will approach Domino’s and ask whether they will act as ‘guardian’ of a board for up to six weeks.
“The guardian, whether that’s us because we’ve put it on our Town Hall forecourt, or a coffee shop, would be responsible for the litter picks. They would look after chaining the ‘A’ board up and making sure that it was secured. They would have to take it in at night and put it in inside their premises,” said Claire
This is a national initiative being driven locally by Litter-Free Dorset. That organisation has also provided funds for litter-picking materials for the Hilltop Litter Pickers. Shaftesbury Town Council is looking after that funding on the group’s behalf.
At the end of Tuesdays Council debate, Cllr Peter Yeo shared his belief that there was a litter bin shortage in Shaftesbury. He asked what had happened with the Town Council’s plan to buy cast iron bins, which was agreed last year. He was told that the Council’s Recreation and Open Spaces committee is addressing the matter.