Rotarians collect 40 bags of litter near A1 at Grantham
Rotarians across Grantham have taken matters into their own hands to clear litter from a gateway into Grantham.
Seven members from the Rotary Club of Grantham gave up their Sunday morning to tackle the huge amount of litter that had been discarded along the southbound slip road on the A1 south near the Gonerby Moor Services.
After a couple of hours of hard graft they had managed to fill a total of 40 bags of general rubbish that had been building up, including cans, plastic bottles and paper.
Rotarian Roger Graves helped to organise the litter-pick.
He said: “A couple of members live in Great Gonerby and so we just thought, ‘what better place to start?’. There were seven of us altogether and we purposely chose early Sunday morning to carry out the litter-pick due to a safety aspect, as there was little traffic.”
Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed, with several motorists tooting their horns and giving them the thumbs up.
President Rod Tyler hopes that it will make people think twice before discarding unwanted litter.
He added: “There is no excuse for this litter which had clearly built up over a period of time and whilst it is the minority of drivers discarding the rubbish it is hoped the many thousands who use this road on a regular basis will see the huge difference that the litter pick has created.”
Litter strewn along the A1 near Grantham and at gateways into the town have long been criticised by members of the public.
One Great Gonerby villager contacted the Journal this week to voice his frustration over the state of the Gonerby Moor area, believing it creates “a terrible first impression” of Grantham for visitors.
Meanwhile, Allington resident Graham Matthews, who joined Rotarians in cleaning up the area at the weekend, said he believes “it will take some considerable time to remedy this decades-long build up” at Gonerby Moor.
While maintenance of the A1 corridor is the responsibility of Highways England, litter collection falls under the remit of local authorities. For the Grantham area this is South Kesteven District Council.
An SKDC spokesperson said: “The council provides places for people to dispose of litter and puts bins along the A1. It is everyone’s responsibility to use them and refrain from littering and our message is clear: take rubbish home or use the bins provided.
“Every year, we spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on picking up rubbish left by members of the public. In addition to this, litter causes serious issues for wildlife and the wider environment.
“SKDC strives to educate people on how to care for their environment, so we welcome the Journal campaign to support this work.
“To clear these roadside areas, the carriageway must be closed to ensure that the council’s staff are not put at risk because of the thoughtless actions of a minority. Closing parts of the A1 is a massive undertaking causing potential inconvenience to the public and to business. However, when the highways agency closes part of the road, we aim to send a street cleansing team to tidy up when we can.
“We continue to work with our colleagues from other local authorities at the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership to find a solution to help reduce the problem.”
Highways England said it regularly monitors the cleanliness of its network and will write to the relevant local authority when it considers that the “standards set by the Environment Protection Act are not being met” to demand “swift action”.
Meanwhile, the club is already planning its next litter-pick to include the roads leading off and on to the Gonerby Moor roundabout, in order to create a cleaner gateway from the north.
Roger added: “The whole area looks tidier and gives a better image. I think people want to do more to combat litter but they just don’t know where to start.”
HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN THE GREAT GRANTHAM SPRING CLEAN
It’s really easy to get involved in the campaign to clean up the streets and parks in Grantham and the surrounding areas – and help is at hand.
South Kesteven District Council is supportive of communities holding their own litter-picks and will provide equipment such as litter-pickers, bags, bag holders and hi-vis vests.
These must be booked in advance and availability depends on levels of demand.
Items returned to the council will be set aside for 72 hours before being loaned out again.
SKDC will also arrange to collect bags of litter-picked rubbish from a single, pre-arranged location.
Contact its street scene team on 01476 406441 for details.
Take a picture of your litter-picking efforts and send it in to the Journal at email@example.com
Tell us where you cleared, who was in your group and an outline of what you found. Every waste warrior backing The Great Grantham Spring Clean will feature in the Journal. Schools that get involved will receive a certificate to thank pupils for taking part.
Covid guidelines allow two households or up to six people to gather outside, and litter-picking activities must follow this rule.
Ensure you social distance, remaining at least two metres away from people not in your household or support bubble.
Use appropriate hygiene measures, and wear face masks when collecting equipment.
Never put yourself or others in danger – avoid busy roads and hazardous areas. Stay on public land such as streets and parks.
Avoid potentially hazardous objects such as unidentified canisters, oil drums and chemical containers, as well as sharp objects and clinical waste. If dangerous, poisonous or hazardous items are present, contact the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.
Wear heavy-duty protective gloves at all times.
Do not lift heavy objects. If you come across fly-tipping, report to SKDC on 01476 406080.
Wear suitable clothing and ensure you have enough to drink. Don’t forget your suncream and sunhat if it is warm.
If you have Covid symptoms or have been near someone who has, please stay home and follow Government guidelines.