Communities and volunteers across County Durham and Darlington are being reminded to register for the eleventh annual Big Spring Clean litter-picking campaign.
This year’s event runs until 15 April and local groups are encouraged to sign up to organise a litter pick in their village, town, or city in County Durham and Darlington.
Organised by LitterFree Durham, in partnership with Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council, the campaign brings communities together to tidy-up, clean-up or green-up their villages or towns and encourages thousands of people to make a difference.
The campaign contributes towards Durham County Council’s priority of making the county ‘altogether greener’, and encourages residents to think about the environmental impact waste products such as plastic and metal can have on our wildlife, forests, and oceans.
Cllr Brian Stephens, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “The Big Spring Clean campaign represents a fantastic opportunity for people to really make a difference in their community.
“Over the years we have seen hundreds of litter-picks carried out by thousands of people, who have contributed tens of thousands of volunteer hours to keep their local areas clean – And this year, despite the recent weather, we’re hoping to add to that incredible achievement.”
All equipment, litter-picks and sacks will be provided to organised litter-picks and all rubbish will be collected and disposed of afterwards.
In addition, the council’s Civic Pride team can advise on health and safety and risk assessments.
Gerald Lee, Chair of LitterFree Durham, said: “So far we’ve been delighted with our annual Big Spring Clean event, but every year we aim to do better than the year before.
“That’s why this year we’re urging more and more people to sign up and really make a difference to their communities.
“Whether you’ve volunteered with us before or are new to it, we can provide everything you need to get started and even organise a litter pick of your own.
“Never before has the public awareness about the evils of plastic been so great and yet whilst many are rightfully upset about our whales and dolphins being killed by plastic we should not forget that the same is happening every day on dry land – dogs, cats, birds sheep and cows are dying because we continue to litter our towns and countryside instead of doing what we all know is the right thing to do.
“Please take your litter home!”
Dropping litter is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) can be issued to anyone caught dropping litter.
To report littering online go to www.durham.gov.uk/litter or call 03000 260 000 during office hours.
To organise a litter pick in County Durham, email [email protected] or call 03000 260 000.
To organise a litter pick in Darlington, email [email protected] or call 01325 406 719.