10 November 2022
Communities in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute have taken matters into their own hands to combat the country’s litter problem.
By Lucy Ashton
A national poll conducted by Keep Scotland Beautiful earlier this year highlights that two thirds of people believe that litter is an issue in their local area, and 87% that it is an issue across Scotland.
In response to the impact of the pandemic on the ability of councils to support local litter-picking, Keep Scotland Beautiful developed and set up the innovative Community Clean Up Hub network. Hub members, including groups, businesses and schools, have been provided with training, guidance and litter picking equipment to help them and others in the wider community litter pick.
We recently published our report on the creation of a network of Community Clean Up Hubs across Scotland which highlights the impact these hubs have had across the country.
Since the launch in 2020 more than 100 hubs across 30 local authorities have been established in coastal, urban and rural areas.
Over the last two years communities have worked hard to take forward and develop their Hub to be the litter resource their community needs it to be.
Others have partnered with local businesses to extend their reach beyond their local area or helped to support other groups and individuals in their area who have the shared goal of cleaning up Scotland.
Through the hard work of the volunteers involved, some of these hubs have become the centre point for citizenship education for their local schools.
Barry Fisher, Chief Executive at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “I’d like to thank the many volunteer litter pickers who are committed to improving their local area and keeping Scotland beautiful.
“No one organisation or individual can put a stop to the looming litter emergency and it’s great to see large and small businesses, housing associations, charities, new and established community groups and local authorities support our growing Community Clean Up Hub network.
“We look forward to continuing to support, grow and celebrate the hubs alongside our partners to ensure their continued help to clean up Scotland.”
Angus group East Haven Together, who recently won a gold award at Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Beautiful Scotland celebration, are one of the groups supporting the Clean Up Scotland initiative.
Wendy Murray, member of East Haven Together, said: “We have supported over 75 new volunteers through the East Haven Clean Up Hub over the last two years.
“Some individuals and groups have gone on to purchase their own litter picking equipment and now carry out regular cleans in areas that are important to them.
“Following the easing of the first pandemic lockdown in 2020 there was a huge increase in littering but also a commensurate increase in the number of volunteers wishing to play their part and make a difference.
“This all happened at the same time as local authorities were finding it difficult to supply equipment, so the Clean Up Hub was crucial in helping to support volunteers to keep the local area clean. A few of us also adopted four new transects off the A92 and we have uploaded data to the Keep Scotland Beautiful clean-up site.”
Visit Clean Up Scotland | Keep Scotland Beautiful for more information on Clean Up Scotland and to find out where your nearest Hub is.