• Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

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Darlington’s army of litter heroes is turning orange in its ongoing bid to keep the borough’s streets and green spaces clean and tidy.

Street Champions, Friends groups and other litter picking volunteers will be issued with orange bags bearing the words ‘Helping Keep Darlington Tidy’.

The new, unique bags have been introduced by Darlington Borough Council to ensure they are easily spotted by Street Scene staff when they are left out for collection.

Councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure and the local environment, said:

“The efforts of the many litter picking volunteers make a huge difference to the area and will be even more important in the future with the impact of the budget cuts we have been forced to make now being felt.

“Cuts to our budget mean we’ve had to reduce street cleaning to minimum levels. This has meant a reduction in Street Scene staff from 31 to 19, with response teams down from three to one and street cleaner now down from nine to five, which has a clear impact on how often we are able to clean the streets and empty public waste bins.

“We simply cannot do as much as we did before and we’ll be relying on our army of litter heroes even more in the future. We provide volunteers with the equipment they need, and the new orange bags have been introduced to allow them to collect any litter and make arrangements with Street Scene to have them collected from a convenient location.

“When people see orange bags by the side of the road now, they will know that a Street Champion or other volunteer has been busy helping to take care of the area.”

He added:

“Litter is everyone’s problem and we have to tackle it together. We would urge everyone to play their part in keeping our streets clean and tidy, by putting their rubbish in a bin or taking it home and, if you see any litter pick it up if you can. If everyone picked up just one piece of litter a day, think of the difference if would make!

“That’s the key message of our #OurStreets initiative, which we launched in October, when we challenged individuals, community groups, schools and businesses to take greater pride in #OurStreets and work together to keep them clean.”

One simple way to do your bit for #OurStreets would be to take part in one of this year’s Big Spring Clean litter picks.

Organised by LitterFree Durham and Darlington, the Council and Durham County Council, this year’s Big Spring Clean runs from 27 February until 16 April, with community litter picks across the area.

The first of Darlington’s community litter picks will take place on Monday (27 February) in the town’s South Park. Volunteers will meet at the Clock Tower at 10am to clean up around the park.

For more information about this year’s Big Spring Clean visit www.litterfreedurham.org. To register to help clean up your local area in Darlington and for dates of other litter picks, emaillitterfreedurham@darlington.gov.uk or call 01325 406719. We will also share details of other community litter picks on Facebook and Twitter.

For details of street cleaning schedules visit www.darlington.gov.uk/ourstreets. To find out how you can help keep #OurStreets clean throughout the year visit www.darlington.gov.uk/litterpick and don’t forget to tell us, and others, about your efforts on social media using the #OurStreets hashtag.