With thousands of volunteers having taken part in more than 200 community clean ups and cleared more than 3100 bags of rubbish from the streets, Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign has been a rousing success.
Since the campaign was launched in October 2017, there has been a 474% increase in the number of clean ups undertaken by the community – something which has seen more than 3500 volunteers take part.
The campaign has captured the imagination of everyone within the community with schoolchildren, community groups, lone litter pickers, businesses, police officers and the Renfrewshire Wardens all taking part.
Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, has taken part said: “What a fantastic year it has been for the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and it just seems to be going from strength to strength thanks to the work of community volunteers and our staff behind the scenes.
“The uptake of the community clean ups has been incredible and shows the community spirit we have in Renfrewshire to make a difference.
“We know we need to match this enthusiasm which is why we’ve invested £2.5million in this campaign to increase our road sweeping and drain clearing, boost our Rapid Response Team to have a dedicated roadside litter patrol, and take on six community litter pickers who keep local communities clean every day.”
The area hosted two large-scale community clean ups during 2018 in which communities across the area joined together to take part in the Big Spring Clean in April and then again for the Spotless September Challenge – with more than 1500 volunteers collecting in excess of 1000 bags of rubbish.
Dog fouling has also been a key focus of the campaign and the first Responsible Dog Owners walk took place in Robertson Park in Renfrew, where dog owners joined together to show that failing to pick up after your dog is not acceptable.
Streets where dog fouling has been identified as a problem have been targeted by the Wardens Service and brightly coloured messages spray painted on the pavements to deter repeat offenders and bring it to the attention of people in that area.
Councillor McEwan added: “The community have attended in their numbers when we have held larger events, but one of the best things about the campaign is the work going on in communities under people’s own steam.
“Volunteers are heading out to clear up their area, speaking to others about the campaign and continuing to push the message that it is all our responsibilities to keep Renfrewshire clean.
“I can’t thank our volunteers enough for the work they do, without forgetting our StreetScene and Waste teams who are working hard behind the scenes.”
With funding allocated to the campaign until 2022, plans are underway for the next year with the education of young people in Renfrewshire being a primary focus.
The Big Spring Clean will also return for another edition with numbers expected to be higher than ever as volunteers get set to pick up their litter pickers once again.
With a number of these community groups inspired deliver further projects within their communities, the campaign looks set to grow even bigger throughout 2019 with Renfrewshire certain benefit.