Environment

Norwich locals take matters of littering into their own hands.

A local environmental group in Norwich is making a dent in the city’s problem with litter.

Photo taken by Andrea Waldron, Friends of West Earlham Woods Facebook page

The Friends of West Earlham Woods group organise a litter pick across the 20- acre forest in Norwich, every month.

This month, they gathered roughly twenty bin bags full of rubbish that was left in the woods.

The volunteers say that the most common type of litter they see is sweets and crisp packaging as well as empty cans and bottles.

They also found a knife, hidden in the shrubs on this month’s pick up.

Andrea Waldron, the secretary of the organisation, says that she joined the group because her dog stepped on broken glass in the woods.

“He needed four-thousand pounds worth of corrective surgery and care.”

She says that there is proof of deliberate fly-tipping in the area where binbags of clothes and furniture is dumped in the woodland area.

Norwich City Council proposed a variety of methods to reduce and deter people from fly tipping in Norwich in July of this year.

Following a survey, 40% of those who answered said they had reported fly-tipping to the council in the last 3 years.

Last year alone, there were almost 11,000 reports of fly-tipping in the council, down 4.5% from 2020.

The council is now proposing reducing the opening hours of the recycling centres available and even closing them completely one day a week following County Hall budget proposals for the next year.

Andrea suggests that for some people, given the current cost-of-living crisis, it is too expensive for some people to pay for the council to collect items.

“It is cheaper and easier for them to dump it in our woodlands.”

Statistics from Keep Britain tidy show that 30 million tonnes of litter is dropped each year and that nearly £1 Billion of tax money is spent picking up litter each year.

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