Spring Clean Scotland Success

Thursday, 20 April 2023 15:11

National campaigns either capture your attention or they don’t, but it is clear this years Spring Clean Scotland campaign has struck a chord with our communities across the region as 1706 individuals have grabbed their litter pickers, donned their hi viz vests and filled bags full of dis-guarded litter. A truly astonishing commitment shown in support of the annual campaign organised by Keeping Scotland Beautiful – Scotland’s leading environmental charity, and one that Dumfries and Galloway Council continue to support annually.

Communities were invited to register their litter picking events with their local authority Ward officers and were supported with resources to ensure everyone taking part was safe and resourced properly ahead of the community assets team collecting all waste at the end of events… and they weren’t half kept busy! Local community groups, schools, local businesses, charities, and individuals have come forward to tackle the litter in all 12 wards across D&G, from the Kirkconnel Beavers group to Portpatrick Primary, the motivation to make an impact has been inspiring.

Research by Keeping Scotland Beautiful found that nationally 87% of people believe that litter is an issue across Scotland with 66% of local authorities seeing an increase in the percentage of unacceptably littered sites since last year. Whilst it is widely accepted that litter wouldn’t be an issue if it was all dis-guarded properly, the reality remains that the problem exists, and needs dealt with now so the long term effects on the environment are minimised. There are already many groups and individuals across the region who regularly roll up their environmentally cautious sleeves and litter pick knowing that each bag filled protects nature and wildlife. As a result, it is no surprise that the campaign has been supported by so many across the region.

The results are truly inspirational,

Number of Volunteers – 1706.

Total number of litter bags collected – 1885.

Total number of bags recycled – 303.

Total number of events registered – 240.

Dumfries and Galloway also placed second in the whole of Scotland and have broken all previous records held during the Spring Clean Scotland Campaign, with no other authority reaching over 200 before.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Chair of Communities Committee, Councillor Ian Blake said:

“This campaign has gone from strength to strength with exceptional motivation and determination from our communities who refuse to let litter spoil this beautiful region. The good work being done by so many inspirational individuals has clearly been heard as the number of people getting involved rose daily. 1706 volunteers is truly inspirational, but not surprising knowing how resilient and passionate our communities protect our landscape from the effects of litter.”

“The impact of lifting 1885 bags over the 4-week campaign will have impacted nature and environment immeasurably and I would like to thank every single person who took part and supported the campaign”

Vice Chair of Communities Committee, Councillor Jackie McCamon said: “Our communities never cease to amaze. Our young people in particular have engaged well with this campaign with over 50 schools taking part in the campaign. With Climate change being a priority for Dumfries and Galloway Council it is key that young people are educated in the effects of littering and how this effects our environment. The future is looking very positive with so many young people engaging in Keeping Scotland Beautiful Eco Schools programme and working with the councils community safety education programmes ”

“The communities of Dumfries and Galloway should be proud of achieving a collective 240 litter picking events and being acknowledged by Scotland’s leading environmental charity Keeping Scotland Beautiful as the first authority to pass 200 events, overall 1st for Beach cleans and overall second in the country for total number of litter picking events. This is in addition to Shawhead Primary, Leswalt Primary and Kirkcolm Primary place 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the official South of Scotland Schools league. This is an incredible achievement that the communities of Dumfries and Galloway, and the teams that supported the campaign, should be very proud off.”