Berkhamsted Litter Pickers fill 12 bags of rubbish during trash-collecting mission

The Berkhamsted Litter Pickers.
The Berkhamsted Litter Pickers.

Eight volunteer litter-pickers collected 12 bags of rubbish from a small triangular area between the Grand Union Canal and Lower Kings Road in Berkhamsted.

Part of the problem is that the bins near there are not visible enough, said their leader Colin Garrett.

Mr Garrett set up the Berkhamsted Litter Pickers nearly four years ago in a bid to try and keep the town clean.

The group now has 105 members, who voluntarily remove litter from the streets that are nearest to their home.

But Mr Garrett said the town centre can get very messy the day after Saturday markets.

He singled out the area outside of Cook shop between Lower Kings Road and the canal as particularly bad for litter.

He said: “There are two major categories of offender. One is cigarette smokers, who drop the foil from inside the packet and sometimes the whole packet when it’s empty too.

“There are too many of them who drop their fag ends and think that’s not really litter, but of course it is.

“Then there are those who eat and drink on the High Street, dropping their fast food wrappers, Costa Coffee cups and Coke bottles and cans.

“If one could catch them, I think they should be heavily fined - but the trouble is you never see anybody doing it.”

Mr Garrett said there are one or two towns where litterbugs are monitored on CCTV.

He said: “There’s one place that has a loudspeaker, so that if someone drops litter, they can shout: ‘Pick it up,’ which startles the perpetrator to no end.”

He said he wasn’t sure if this was the right solution for Berkhamsted, due to the expense of installing the equipment.

He added: “Even after having seen someone heave a McDonald’s bag over the fence, you have then got to identify them and prosecute them.”

He said the Berkhamsted Litter Pickers are doing a good job of combating the problem.

He said: “Our oldest member is over 80 and our youngest is 16. Two kids from Ashlyns were doing the Duke of Edinburgh bronze award and had to do community service for an hour a week for three months.

“They were very enthusiastic and committed to it and when they had done there three months, they said they were going to keep litter-picking for us.”

Berkhamsted teenager Kirsty Robertson is also a committed member of the group.

Mr Garrett said: “This is a very encouraging sign for our town.”