Dedicated litter picker is left depressed by clean-up problem

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EDITOR – Any kind of voluntary street-cleaning exercise is to be commended, but I regard your use of the word DEDICATED (your capitals) in connection with the Town Partnership ‘event’ to be grossly misleading and a terrible misuse of this key word. To be ‘dedicated’ means that there is a wholehearted commitment to a task of special cause that presents a long-term and dogged devotion regardless of the difficulties that may arise.

Cleaning our streets and keeping them clean is an exercise that certainly requires dedication, but it is a long time since I have seen this kind of comittment at work.

Accumulations of muck, stones and plant life along the sides and gutters of numerous roads beggar belief, and in places are so ancient as to justify archaeological investigations.

Vandalism and dumping waste indiscriminately are similarly blessed with the need for IMMEDIATE attention if the underlying attitudes within perpetrators are to be moderated. Litter left unpicked merely attracts more litter, and if only everybody simply kept their frontages (including gutters, pathways, verges and roadways) routinely clear of accumulating mess we would have a much pleasanter township.

Our country roads are another matter of course, and my experiences related to tidying up our stretch of road for the last month or so has left me amazed by the utter foulness of people’s activities towards their environment.

Having filled over two dozen large black bags and collected together objects that have been dumped, I have had to become involved with ELDC to arrange for the removal of accumulated piles of waste.

As usual, town hall staff have been so refreshingly helpful, but machinations at Tedder Hall have (yet again) served to leave me confounded and drawn into hours of wasted endeavour.

It is as if the powers that be have no wish to encourage the public to become actively involved in sorting out environmental matters. Certainly there has never been any offer of black bags (to replace the ones used), work gloves (I am now on my second pair for this season), compensation for torn clothing and laundry work, and, most importantly, a formal ‘thank you’.

The general public are no better, having been passed by hundreds of vehicles, and numerous cyclists and walkers, whilst I spent my time dragging rubbish up and down a long stretch of country road, one person stopped to ask (rather brusquely) if I was fly tipping, and only one person stopped to say ‘thank you’.

In addition, having nicely cleaned up a stetch of road one day, it has been heartbreaking to find fresh litter the next. Thus, involvement of this kind requires a special kind of persistence ie: REAL dedication, particularly when the nature of some rubbish is so vile.

On several occasions during this past few weeks I have struggled through brambles and spiky shrubs to pick up a polythene bag only to find that it has been filled with dog dirt.

Some dog owners are even throwing such items into people’s gardens, and this merely represents one example of many that Louth is NOT the community it makes itself out to be.

There are several of us across the town who are not bothered about joining a group and merely get on and do what they can, but it is obviously a soul-destroying undertaking. When there is no REAL sense of community, and people are happy to foul their communal home (ie Louth), what is the point?

Some years ago I maintained my clean-up disciplines for a couple of years, but gave up because it left me so depressed. My current endeavours are producing the same results. I am clearly not DEDICATED enough.

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