Appeal for people to take litter home and preserve our Island’s beauty

Island Roads and the Isle of Wight Council have issued a joint appeal to the public, on World Environment Day, to take their litter home after beaches and parks were strewn with litter at the weekend.

As lockdown measures were eased, many public areas – among them beaches, parks, and public gardens – were found to be overwhelmed with litter, despite cleansing services being provided by both the council and Island Roads.

Natasha Dix, strategic manager waste and environment for Isle of Wight Council said: “With so many people having appreciated how lucky they are to have been based in such a beautiful place during lockdown, it’s disappointing now to see how some have forgotten that and are now littering these treasured areas.

“We understand that people will rightly want to enjoy these spaces now that lockdown restrictions have been relaxed but we implore people to take their litter home and dispose of it in their recycling and waste bins as appropriate. Doing so may also help contain the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).”

With more people also venturing out in the sunshine for picnics and barbecues, litter bins across the Island quickly became overwhelmed, while in other areas, litter appeared to have been discarded at will. A picture that has been seen in other areas up and down the county.

Dispose of barbecues responsibly and never leave them unattended. Make sure it is fully extinguished by pouring plenty of water or sand on it.

Dave Wallis, Operations and Maintenance Manager at Island Roads said: “We are contracted to empty specified bins across the Island once a day in winter and twice a day in summer. This is supplemented by the council’s parks and gardens teams who take care of litter in other locations, while other organisations look after the bins on land for which they are responsible.

“However, these bins are there for incidental waste and do not always have the capacity for the volume that people appear to be bringing currently to some locations. So, while we hope people enjoy themselves and their new-found freedom in these locations, we urge people to act responsibly and take as much of their litter home as possible.”

Council leader Dave Stewart added: “With World Environment Day taking place today and the focus this year on biodiversity, I am sure many will agree that we are so lucky to live in a place that has been recognised by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve – a place of environmental significance.

“As we all start to be able to fully enjoy those outdoor spaces again, please let’s work together to keep preserve our Island’s beauty and nature both for ourselves and for our visitors when it is safe for them to return.”

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