Efforts of Wrexham litter pickers making ‘big difference’ to area, says senior councillor
The efforts of a volunteer group of litter pickers in Wrexham are making a “big difference” to the appearance of the area, a senior councillor has said.
The Wrexham Litter Pickers group was launched on Facebook at the start of this year in a bid to tackle rubbish dumped in public places.
It was set up by local resident Kelly Evans, who started picking up litter on her road as part of her daily exercise and within three days had collected 19 bin bags.
The group has since gone from strength to strength, with more than 1,200 members and hundreds of bags of rubbish being collected each week.
The distinctive red bags used by the group have become a common sight on the roadside, where they are left to be gathered by Wrexham Council refuse collectors.
Deputy council leader David A Bithell has praised the work of the volunteers, which he said would compliment the local authority’s own efforts to make the area free from litter.
The council’s environment portfolio holder said: “I met with Kelly Evans with officers when we had a virtual meeting a couple of weeks ago.
“I take my hat off to the volunteer Wrexham litter campaign and they’ve done an absolutely sterling job.
“We’re encouraging the Wrexham litter group to use red bags to distinguish between black bin bags.
“What we do want to do is encourage people to litter pick in their communities and I know many groups do.
“We’re trying to support Kelly and the rest of the group in working in different communities, which is making a big difference.”
The wider issue of fly-tipping in Wrexham was recently highlighted in a report to executive board members following an increase in incidents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Between April and September last year, there were 877 reports of fly-tipping in the area, compared to 491 over the same period in 2019.
It led to the ruling administration approving measures to use cameras to catch offenders at litter hot-spots, before handing them with fines of up to £400.
Cllr Bithell said work was also being carried out by the council and Caru Cymru a part of a new partnership between Keep Wales Tidy and the 22 local authorities.
He said: “We’re about to go out to advert for a full time post which is effectively grant funded to work with volunteers, litter groups and community councils so it’s work in progress.
“It is making a difference and some of our refuse operatives are now stopping and collecting some of the waste and liaising directly with the groups themselves.
“They’re taking their own initiative to pick up the waste providing it’s stored in a safe manner.
“Everybody’s working to the same objective of trying to keep everywhere clean.
“I’m sure it’s going to evolve this year and hopefully we can have a litter free Wrexham.”
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter
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