Community clean ups and secret ballots
Residents young and old joined local volunteers to help clear beach paths, embankments and streets of litter and items which had been flytipped.
Over 3 tonnes of litter and flytipped items were picked up, including tyres, furniture, mattresses, rubble, black bag waste, electrical items, drinks cans and bottles, crisp packets and sweet wrappers.
The Community Clean Up follows classroom sessions and litter picks with Hilton of Cadboll Primary School, in which pupils were asked to complete a secret ballot on the amount and types of litter they drop. Keeping the answers secret encouraged the children to give honest answers before they were shown the amount of litter which would be dropped over the year if every pupil in the school acted the same way. Follow-up sessions coincided with class litter picks in the school playground, surrounding paths and beaches, showing the impacts of litter on the local environment and wildlife.
The Community Clean Up and school sessions are part of a four month project being run by the Highland Council in the Seaboard Villages, with funding from Zero Waste Scotland. The project aims to encourage all local residents to do their part in reducing local litter levels and fly tipping incidents.
The final stage of the project will run in March, beginning with two community discussion groups. In these groups, a small number of residents will be asked to share their views on the project and review its impact on local litter and flytipping. The Council are also undertaking on-street monitoring to assess the impact of the project and it is hoped that the findings will be used to develop future strategies to tackle litter and fly tipping across the Highland region. The project will culminate with a final community presentation aimed at sharing the findings of the project and to discuss the next steps with local residents.
Chairman of The Highland Council’s TEC Services Committee, Councillor Graham Phillips said: “It’s great to see so many people getting out and helping to clear their local area of litter and flytipping. With the activities taking place in the community and the new bins being put in place, this will have a real benefit for the local environment and the residents of the villages.”
Zero Waste Scotland estimate that 250 million items are littered and 61,000 items are fly tipped in Scotland every year, costing £53 million to clean up. Furthermore, 50% of this litter could be recycled, with a value of around £1.2 million.