MORE than 7,500kg of litter has been collected from Wiltshire rubbish hotspots this year by volunteers.
Community litter-picking groups across the county have gathered the haul so far in 2023, according to Wiltshire Council, which equates to around 1,270 bags of rubbish.
The volunteers have given more than 970 hours’ work cleaning up the mess.
With Wiltshire Council currently spending more than £1.5m per year cleaning up litter across the county, it is estimated community litter picks have saved the taxpayer around £32,000.
Litter picking equipment has been provided to town and parish councils and community groups by idverde, in partnership with Wiltshire Council.
Alongside community litter picks, the council is also carrying out regular litter collections on the county’s rural roads and verges, plus the A303 and A36.
The A303 and A36 are managed by National Highways, but Wiltshire Council has a statutory duty to collect litter.
Cllr Caroline Thomas, the council’s cabinet member for Street Scene, said: “I’d like to thank all the people who are doing their bit to improve their communities by getting involved in litter picks in their local areas.
“The volume of litter collected and the number of hours that have been donated to this cause is fantastic – though, of course, it would be better if the litter wasn’t there to collect in the first place.
“Most people will dispose of their litter in a responsible way, but there are still those who don’t seem to care about our county, who will throw their rubbish without a care about what happens to it.
“People can be prosecuted for littering, and our enforcement officers are able issue on-the-spot fixed penalty notices to anyone who is caught. This litter is not only a blot on our glorious landscapes, but also potentially harmful to wildlife and Wiltshire’s environment.
“We have pledged to take responsibility for the environment as part of our Business Plan, and encouraging behaviour change and reducing incidents of littering are key priorities for us.
“Empowering residents to take part in litter picking initiatives also means that we can spend money on other essential services instead.”
Litter picking could take place as part of a daily walk or as part of a larger community clean up group, she said.
For more information or support relating to a community litter pick, contact the Streetscene community engagement manager by email to email@example.com
To report litter in Wiltshire, visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/mywilts.