‘We just can’t keep up’ – council staff fighting losing battle against litter in New Forest

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litter new forest
Piles of rubbish are regularly left near bins

MASSIVE increases in littering have led to fears New Forest District Council is fighting a “losing battle” against waste.

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Levels are unprecedented, despite NFDC revealing in mid-July it had spent £100,000 hiring additional team members and vehicles, making extra patrols, increasing bin emptying and carrying out more flytipping checks. Extra signs have also been put up post-lockdown.

“However, we are fighting a losing battle if visitors continue to leave their rubbish behind – we just can’t keep up,” said, Claire Jubb, NFDC open spaces administrator.

“Our staff return to the depot with their vans full to capacity, and depressed knowing that the next time they visit sites they will look exactly the same. They spend all day picking up the litter and emptying the bins, seeing discarded bottles and cans, and piles of rubbish next to the bins.

“We all just wish people would think about the next person to visit the park or how their rubbish harms the wildlife, and if a bin is full that they take their litter home. After all, if they brought it with them full, it should be easy to take it home empty.”

As part of its latest measure to combat littering, NFDC has joined other councils across the country over the summer months to share the Keep Britain Tidy campaign ‘Love Parks’ in three of its open spaces in Fordingbridge, Ringwood and Hythe.

Cllr Alison Hoare, cabinet member for the environment, said: “Getting out into our beautiful local areas has become a lifeline in recent months for so many people.

“Most people respect the great outdoors and know how fortunate we are to have the special New Forest on our doorsteps, but unfortunately, we have seen increasing levels of litter and flytipping.”

Love Parks coincides with NFDC’s coastal anti-litter project ‘Crabby’ where visitors can take a free bag to take their rubbish home, and enter a competition to win £100 if they take a selfie with the giant orange crab on its billboards. For information visit https://newforest.gov.uk/crabby

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