Letter to Editor: Good news about rubbish

Politics / Fri 16th Apr 2021 am30 08:55am


IT has been heartening to see the town wide efforts of Harlow’s wonderful “Womble” groups. The daily posts on social media showing the sacks of rubbish collected by groups of volunteers suggest that the community spirit fostered during the pandemic may become a welcome legacy of it. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say “thank you” to them all.

Litter is not a new problem, nor is it acceptable to leave rubbish lying around, however it seems likely that the increase in the amount of litter is a consequence of people spending more time in our parks and communal areas than they would under normal circumstances. 

Also contributing to the waste problem is the increase in dog ownership. According to research from the Animal Welfare Association, the cost of a puppy has risen by as much as 62% during lockdown, reflecting the strength of the puppy market. Many will have spotted unsightly bags of dog waste strewn around fields, play areas and hung on trees and fences.

Where I live in Old Harlow, one resident took matters into his own hands (not literally!) and put signs up on the local playing field asking people to make sure they clean up after and dispose of their dog’s waste.  I’m sure readers will be very pleased to hear that taking these factors into account, Harlow’s Labour controlled Council will install a significant number of additional dog waste and dual use bins in the next financial year. There will be a public consultation exercise in early summer to determine the best locations for these new bins to ensure we hit the waste “hot spots”.  Details of how people can participate in the consultation will be communicated shortly and I urge residents to take part.

In the meantime, thank you again to our wonderful Wombles and dog owners, thank you for picking up after your pups, but please take your poo bags home with you.

Cllr Eugenie Harvey

Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Resilience and Recovery

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