Calls for bin amnesty to tackle 'shameful’ littering in Sheffield
Thousands of new bins are needed to end the ‘shameful sight’ of litter clogging up Sheffield’s green spaces.
That’s according to campaigners who have taken on the task of clearing the city’s streets and open land themselves.
Litter pickers in Pitsmoor are trying to raise the money to provide the additional wheelie bins they say are needed in their neighbourhood, and they claim thousands more are required across the city.
They have also called for a Sheffield-wide ‘bin amnesty’ to ensure ‘contaminated’ wheelie bins which have in some cases gone uncollected for many months are finally emptied.
Malcolm Camp, a founder member of the Pitsmoor Pickers group which now consists of more than 150 volunteers helping to clear the streets of litter, has launched a fundraising campaign to pay for the bins which he says are sorely needed in the neighbourhood.
The need for new bins in Pitsmoor, Burngreave and Fir Vale first came to light, he explained, when they started clearing an area of wasteland frequented by heroin users where decades of rubbish had been left to accumulate and was lying up to a foot deep in places.
He told how some of the litter had been dumped there while other rubbish was swept in by the wind after being left on the street by vulnerable householders without their own wheelie bins or with insufficient space in the bins they do have.
“It was a shameful sight to see so many bin bags and so much rubbish strewn in those woods, where it’s 10 acres of horror story,” he said.
“We quickly realised much of it was domestic waste, and the immediate reaction is to think these are terrible people dumping their rubbish in the woods.
“But talking to people we’ve found the rubbish is often left by those who’ve moved into housing without any access to a bin or without enough space in the bins they do have to cater for all the people living there…
“These aren’t immigrants out to damage their own communities. They’re simply not…
“Our mission is to raise the money for new bins to help some very nice people in adversity overcome a very particular problem.”
Malcolm, who runs the city centre arts hub DINA, says it is easy to blame the householders, Sheffield Council or the council’s waste contractor Veolia but he believes if anyone is responsible it is the ‘exploitative’ landlords who are failing to provide the facilities their tenants need.
He estimates that across the city some 2,000 to 3,000 extra household bins are needed.
He also says something must be done to bring back into use the many ‘contaminated’ blue, black and brown bins which have gone unemptied because the wrong items have been placed in them, usually by mistake.
“There needs to be a bin amnesty where all those contaminated bins are collected and emptied, because there are so many of them,” he said.
On a positive note, Malcolm praised the efforts of people from many different communities in the area who have given up their time to collect litter.
Malcolm has already raised £260, which is enough to pay for nine bins at £28 apiece, but he wants to raise more.
The Star has contacted Sheffield Council.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/malcolm-camp.