Volunteers save council tax payers over £20,000
Over forty volunteer groups got involved in the Big Tidy Up campaign in Oxfordshire this September, between them clocking up man-hours that would have cost district councils over £20,000.
This month-long campaign, coordinated in the county by Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (OWP), saw residents of all ages collect over 350 black sacks of litter and 125 clear sacks of recyclables. Some groups also cleared hedges, footpaths and overgrown areas giving an extra 50 sacks of green waste for composting. The equivalent weight of all this rubbish was as much as two small cars!
John Tanner, chair of OWP also gave up some time to litter-pick. “In my own Littlemore ward I joined Oxford East MP Andrew Smith, Street Wardens, grown-ups and young people to give the area a good clean up. It was amazing how much recyclable rubbish - cans and bottles - we found hidden away in bushes and behind walls.”
In addition to collecting litter, volunteers unearthed some unusual finds including two bikes, part of a shopping trolley, umbrellas, fence posts, a basket ball hoop, several traffic cones and enough scrap metal to fill almost five household wheelie bins!
Many groups tackled areas that council workers don't regularly or aren't easily able to get to, giving areas an extra lift. Cllr Tanner adds, “Oxfordshire’s Big Tidy Up was a huge success and I’m amazed how many community groups, from Banbury to Didcot, really got stuck in. Now we all need to pick up other people’s litter, and not drop chewing gum, fag ends and crisp packets, for the rest of the year too.”