Letter from Lyn Brandon
Picking up a used sanitary towel (with a long litter picker) or watching a friend struggling to lift a used nappy into a bin is hardly anyone’s idea of fun… but that is what I found myself doing on a recent Sunday afternoon. I hate street litter and the negative image it creates for areas like Burngreave. Early retirement has presented an opportunity to get more involved with local community activity so I decided to support a recent initiative lead by local Burngreave Councillors to be out and about and helping to clean up the local streets. Some litter is bound to be present in busy urban areas but walking the streets you soon begin to get angry at the amount of litter everywhere. Some people are just plain dirty or stupid to throw out used nappies and the like, others obviously just don’t think by the number of discarded cigarette ends scattered around – maybe they don’t realise fag ends are not biodegradable.
Children are often blamed for litter, which may be the case some of the time especially by the number of crisps packets, tin cans and sweet wrappers we collected. That is because some parents and adults are setting such bad examples – the number of empty fag packets, beer cans, household waste, take away containers and debris we found were more likely to be the result of adult behaviour. I know some people think this should be the responsibility of Sheffield City Council but even if the government replaced every penny of the £350 million it has taken away from Sheffield in the past 6 -7 years, I’m not convinced I would want to spend it on picking up people’s litter. It could be used for so many other things such as new housing, parks, good adult social care, improving health and wellbeing, increased provision for children and young people, and community events.
When I was growing up the anti-litter messages ‘pick up your rubbish and take it home’, ‘keep your street tidy and clean’ seemed to be universally understood. I love Burngreave and want it to be the best it can be – we can all help this happen. Let’s teach our children by example, join in with a local litter pick or organise your own – buy your own litter picker from pound shops and keep the areas in front of your house tidy, make sure your bins are secure and pick them up if they get blown over. Let’s work together to keep Burngreave clean.
If you have any ideas on how to keep Burngreave clean
please contact the Burngreave Messenger.