Nottingham is celebrating the achievements of the everyday heroes who help to keep the city clean every day.
Nottingham City Council spends £7million a year on street cleaning – with crews working 20 hours a day seven days a week to keep the streets clean.
But as well as the Council’s Clean crews, who collect rubbish, clean streets, and collect bulky waste from around the city, a growing army of civic-minded citizens is helping to keep Nottingham one of the cleanest big cities in the UK.
The first group are the amazing 150 people who have now signed up to become Clean Champions. The scheme was set up by Nottingham City Council in response to groups who were already going out litter-picking voluntarily, to make sure they had the equipment, help and advice to do it safely.
Clean Champions get a free high-vis jacket, litter picker, gloves and bin bags – plus a direct line to the Council’s Clean Control room to report other problems they spot, such as fly-tips, needles, graffiti or dog mess. Anyone who pays council tax in Nottingham can sign up at www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/cleanchampions.
Helen from Sherwood said: “Clean Champions is a great idea. I’ve just joined and I am looking forward to doing this with the children to see who can pick up the most litter.”
The second group are those people who pick up and bin litter that other people have dropped in the course of their everyday lives.
A campaign running April – June has been encouraging everyone to ‘Keep it clean’ in Nottingham – asking everyone if they could consider picking up and popping a piece of rubbish in the bin while they’re out and about.
Reverend Naomi Hill from Sneinton said: “There’s lots of grubby things in the world it’s hard to change, but picking up litter is an easy way to make a positive difference to your neighbourhood and encourage other people to do the same. If more and more people did this it would make a HUGE difference!”
John Burgin from Beeston said: “If you’re walking along in the city and see a coke can or crisp packet and there’s a bin nearby, why not pick it up and put it in? It takes seconds and litter makes our streets look so awful.”
Councillor Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services and Community Transport, said: “We believe that we can achieve great things when we all work together to keep our fantastic city looking great. It’s about taking pride in Nottingham and our surroundings, and not simply leaving the responsibility to others – to paraphrase JFK – what can you do for your city?
“We don’t want anyone putting themselves at risk though – broken glass, needles, dog mess, or anything else dangerous should be reported to us online, and we’ll sort it out quickly www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/reportit.”