Organisers apologise after Sheffield neighbourhood litter pick leave piles of rubbish 50 metres long

The organisers of a litter pick which was high-jacked by fly-tippers have apologised to residents and say the remaining rubbish will be removed today.

Monday, 1st April 2019, 12:07 pm
Updated Monday, 1st April 2019, 6:05 pm

Community group Friends of Whiteways organised the community litter pick for Saturday on Whiteways an Earl Marshall Road in Fir Vale.

They collected dozens of bags of rubbish leaving them in two pre-arranged pick up points to be collected by Council staff.

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Submitted photo.

However, over the weekend fly-tippers have added sofas, mattresses, furniture and bags of rubbish to the already sizable heap, leaving a mound of trash up to 50 metres long.

Litter pick organiser, Usha Blackham, from Friends of Whiteways said it had been a ‘nightmare’.

“We are trying to make amends and apologise for the mess we have created,” she said.

“We really feel bad about it but we were just trying to help the community. It was coming from a good place.”

Submitted photo.

The group had arranged with the Council to collect the rubbish at 1pm on Saturday, but in the end they didn’t arrive until gone 9 ‘o’ clock.

They then removed one pile of rubbish but had to leave the pile opposite the nursing home which they came back for on Sunday but couldn’t fit the sheer amount of it in their van.

“People started putting all sorts on the pile like cupboards, carpets and wood - just having a clear out,” said Usha.

“We were begging them not to bring out anymore stuff but it was getting out of hand and we started getting abuse.”

Submitted photo.

Usha said residents began trying to tackle what is a perennial problem in the area last October, but might now be forced to reconsider future events.

She said: “We were doing really well. We had nine families involved including two new groups this time.”

“Lots of the families are saying they are not going to join us anymore because of all the bad press we have got so I don’t think Friends of Whiteways are going to do any more litter picks.”

Ian Ashmore, head of environmental regulation for Sheffield City Council, said: “A community-led litter pick took place in the Earl Marshall Road area, where hard-working community volunteers collected around 100 bags of rubbish.

“It appears that the extra accumulation of household waste is the result of some serious local miscommunication and blatant fly-tipping marring their hard work, which is really disappointing.

“We want to encourage communities to take responsibility for their household waste and have been carrying out lots of education in the local area, but others jumping on the bandwagon and dumping waste on the street, isn’t the way to go about it.

“The council is undertaking an enforcement investigation at this site throughout the day today, and teams will be clearing the unauthorised waste today.

“This situation is incredibly disappointing when we know that many members of the community dedicate their time and effort to keeping the area clean and tidy and when litter clearance continues to cost the council millions of pounds every year.

“There have been hundreds of successful, genuine community-led litter picks and this hasn’t happened before but on this occasion some have seen this as an opportunity to dump further household waste.”