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Nicola Drummond interview - Glasgow Science Centre festival

Renfrewshire’s joint environmental campaign Team Up to Clean Up is set to be showcased at a digital science festival hosted for the first time by Glasgow Science Centre.

Curious About Our Planet takes place from 18 to 20 February and aims to celebrate the wonders of the planet and the science of climate change.

The line-up includes a behind-the-scenes tour of Edinburgh Zoo, a sustainable cocktail making session, a UK film premiere and an art exhibition.

Also included is an interview with Lead Officer for Environment Coordination at Renfrewshire Council, Nicola Drummond, who discusses the impact the Team Up to Clean Up campaign has had in Renfrewshire as the council and community work together to effect change.

Nicola said: “It’s fantastic to be part of this online festival and hopefully we can inspire others throughout the country, especially those in our younger generations, to think about how they treat their local environment.

“The Team Up to Clean Up campaign has grown tremendously over the past few years as more and more people take a real pride in their community and want to do what they can to improve where they live.

“We support them with litter pickers, collecting rubbish from their litter picks and providing a network of like-minded volunteers through our Facebook group and it’s fantastic to be part of such an inspiring campaign.”

The festival is an online version of Curiosity Live, a regular science engagement event that has been held at Glasgow Science Centre (GSC) for the past few years.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I’m delighted that our campaign is part of this exciting festival and I hope those who attend are inspired by the work going on in Renfrewshire.

“It’s incredible to see the dedication of our volunteers who are making a difference not only to their communities and the health of our local environment, but also inspiring others to join them and affect behaviour change in Renfrewshire.

“As a council, we will continue to do our bit with enhanced street cleaning and gully clearing to ensure that the commitment is there from us and the community, and I can’t wait to see where this campaign can take us in the future as we do what we can to tackle climate change.”

The festival is being delivered with support from the Inspiring Science Fund provided by Wellcome, UKRI and BEIS. It is also part of Our World Our Impact, Glasgow Science Centre’s climate change programme which is in partnership with the Scottish Government.

Dr Stephen Breslin, chief executive of Glasgow Science Centre, said: “We’re excited to be launching our first digital science festival following the success of GSCAtHome and our online Halloween and Christmas shows.

“Climate change will have an impact on everyone and Curious About Our Planet invites us to explore the science of it as well as reminding us of the beauty of our planet, all from the safety and comfort of home”.

Festival contributors include Heather Reid, WWF Scotland, Royal Zoological Society for Scotland (RZSS), Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), National Environment Research Council (NERC), the Conservation Volunteers and Keep Scotland Beautiful.

To find out more about the full festival programme, visit https://curiousabout.glasgowsciencecentre.org/

Renfrewshire experienced a Spotless September as hundreds of volunteers joined the Team Up to Clean Up campaign once again, with the aim of making their community a little brighter.

The now annual Spotless September event saw 1,233 bags of litter removed from the local environment as 225 litter picks were undertaken by dedicated volunteers and community groups – equating to more than seven litter picks every day throughout the month of September.

Volunteers took to the streets in almost every community in Renfrewshire, including Erskine, Renfrew, Paisley, Johnstone, Bishopton, Houston, Bridge of Weir Foxbar, Elderslie, Inchinnan, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch – and some even took to the water to clean the River Cart in Paisley.

Erskine volunteer Stephen Hughes said: “I really just wish people would stop dropping litter and take more pride in where they live, especially our school children.

“I would rather be doing something else with my time, but I really do value living in a clean and attractive neighbourhood and helping clean up keeps me busy and active.

“The Team Up to Clean Up Facebook community is also a pleasure to be part of, it’s great to see so many people making a difference.”

Working with the community, Renfrewshire Council provided volunteers with litter pickers, bibs, bags and any other safety equipment they required, and volunteers were provided with health and safety advice for carrying out litter picks, including group sizes and physical distancing.

The council’s StreetScene team took away the collected rubbish too and this took place alongside the council’s increased litter picking, gully clearing and road sweeping which forms a key part of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “What a month it has been and another fantastic Spotless September.

“While the current situation meant we couldn’t hold any large-scale events, it’s been heartening to see the desire of our Team Up to Clean community to continue making a difference.

“Hundreds of volunteers have headed out on their own or in small groups to clear hundreds of bags of litter from our communities and each with the same goal of making Renfrewshire a better place to live, work and visit.

“We’re working hard to change the mindset of those who think it’s acceptable to litter so please let’s keep working together to make Renfrewshire litter-free.”

The award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign has grown substantially since it was launched in 2017 and now boasts more than 1,500 members in its online Facebook community group.

The campaign brings the council and community together to help tackle littering, dog fouling and a range of other environmental issues and the joint approach continues to thrive in Renfrewshire.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

Volunteers are making it a Spotless September in Renfrewshire after more than 250 bags of litter were collected in the first two weeks.

Hundreds of volunteers have taken part in an incredible 75 litter picks so far as inspired individuals and community groups do their bit to make their local community cleaner and brighter.

Litter picks have taken place all across Renfrewshire, including Erskine, Renfrew, Paisley, Johnstone, Linwood, Bishopton, Houston and Bridge of Weir.

Local volunteers have been provided by the Renfrewshire Council with sanitised litter pickers and equipment to take part in their litter picks, as well as information on how to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic while litter picking, and the council’s StreetScene team have collected each bag of litter afterwards too.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “It’s incredible how devoted our volunteers are and their dedication to keeping their community clean continues to amaze me.

“We are all working together to not only make where we live cleaner and brighter, but also to change the behaviour of those who think it’s okay to drop litter.

“The Team Up to Clean Up campaign has created a community of local people who want to make a difference and, slowly but surely, we will make real environmental change here in Renfrewshire.

“I’ve been out litter picking as part of Spotless September and I can’t wait to get out again. Please come join me and hundreds of others as we work hard to make Renfrewshire a nicer place to live, work and visit.”

The award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign sees the council and community join together to carry out enhanced cleaning of Renfrewshire’s local environment, with additional road sweeping, litter picking, and gully cleaning assisted by the local community’s litter picks.

For more information, and to find out how to take part, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SpotlessSeptember.