Big clean-up confirms it: Boston's getting cleaner
Boston's tenth annual big clean-up has shown that the town is getting cleaner.
Hundreds of volunteers turned out again for the four-day litter pick, removing 4.8 tonnes of rubbish from the streets, verges and public open spaces.
In its first year, clean-up volunteers removed an astonishing ten tonnes of rubbish. Last year that was down to six tonnes, and this year's is the best ever result.
Jenny Moore, Boston Borough Council's environment and sustainability officer, and one of the main organisers of the Big Boston Clean-up, said: "A lot has changed since ten years ago to make everyone more aware of their environment. Campaigns to alert people to their responsibilities regarding litter, fly tipping and cleaning up after their dogs have entered the public consciousness. There is also more enforcement and enforcement options.
"Some will always deliberately drop litter, fly tip and refuse to clean up after their pets, which is why the big clean-up keeps on going. But each year, despite volunteer numbers remaining strong, there is less litter to remove.
"I cannot praise and thank enough every single one of those who joined this year's clean-up. They are people of all ages who care about where they live and want to do what they can to make it better for everyone. They should all be really proud of their efforts.
"I also want to point out that for many this is not a four-day project. We have 123 litter champions who turn out in all weathers throughout the borough all year round to keep the town and villages clean and tidy."
The volunteers are members of the public who want to make a difference in their town, among them residents who already help out with regular litter picking.
Taking part this year were Boston in Bloom, Boston Mayflower, the Environment Agency, Black Sluice Internal Drainage Board, the Probation Service, Operation Flyswat team members, HM Prison North Sea Camp, Thistles, Asda, Freshtime, Tulip, Calders and Grandidge, Boston Police and Police Cadets, Boston Baptists Church, Longhurst, Inspire, Boston College, U3A, Aaron Heating, Centrepoint, McDonald's and members of the council's own street cleaning team. Boston Angling Association litter picked the Maud Foster Drain.
Jenny thanked Asda for proving community funding and Freshtime for providing food for the volunteers' tea and coffee breaks and lunches and refreshments during the litter picking. Fydell House, Holy Trinity Church and Fenside Community Centre all provided facilities for refreshments.
A team from Calders and Grandidge said they wanted to be part of the Big Boston Clean-up because they wanted to help make a difference in their home town.
Another volunteer, Pete Knight, from Boston, has attended nine out of the last ten events.
He said he enjoyed each year because it provided him the chance to meet different people and get out and about in the town. He said he understood that some people felt they should not have to help the council, but if people cleaned up after themselves, these events would not be necessary.
Reuben Cole ( 9) helped out with his brother Josh (13). Reuben found bicycle handlebars in Lister Way and Josh found a bike light minus the bulb.
Josh said he wanted to help by "removing the litter people are moaning about".
Reuben said he was "making the area nice and clean". Reuben, Josh and their parents were in the third year of helping with the Big Boston Clean-up.
A Big School's Clean-up was held before the Easter break involving 545 youngsters throughout the town and borough who tidied up in and around their own school grounds.
More enforcement to combat litter
New to the clean-up this year were staff from 3GS Environmental Enforcement, who have now been appointed by the council to support its own enforcement activities.
3GS's uniformed officers will provide a highly-visible litter enforcement and deterrent presence across Boston.
They will take action against all forms of littering and fly tipping, including dog fouling, and will be able to issue fixed penalties of £75 for littering and £100 to those who fail to clean up after their dogs. They are also empowered to issue £100 fines to those walking dogs who cannot demonstrate that they have poo bags with them to clean up should their dogs foul. They will use information about grot spots and operate during unsocial hours when some may think they can get away with spoiling the environment.
Paul Buttivant, Managing Director of 3GS, said: "We look forward to working with Boston Borough Council and its own enforcement and environmental operations teams to help create a cleaner, greener environment for all to enjoy. We will provide an ethical, uncontroversial, proactive and focused enforcement service in parallel with education and awareness which complements the council's cleaner, greener aspirations.
"Our balanced, professional and visible enforcement service will tackle environmental crime, at no cost to the council and our officers, while enforcing, also act as a deterrent to individuals who don't respect the law."
Fantastic results from the guys at Calders and Grandidge.
Calders and Grandidge staff Litter picking in the Woad Farm area.
Pete Knight from Boston displays results from Marsh Lane on Monday morning.
A cleaner Marsh Lane and time for a well deserved cup of tea.
Tea time, Monday morning at Fydell House, Boston.
Lunch time on Tuesday and some happy well fed pickers.
Everyone's ready to go on Tuesday morning.
Day two and our volunteers are in for treat - thanks to Asda Boston and Freshtime. Waiting for the hungry horde are Tracey Banks, left, and Emma Butler, from Boston Borough Council.
Rested and raring to go again. Volunteers outside Fenside Community Centre on Wednesday morning.
Reuben and Josh Coe from Boston ready for action on Wednesday morning.
Thursday litter picking in Wide Bargate.
Jenny Moore, Boston Borough Council's environment and sustainability officer, second from left, celebrates day four with an enthusiastic group near Wide Bargate.
Mother and daughter Becky and Lilly Shinn pause in the sun from litter-picking duties on Thursday morning in Wide Bargate.