More than 400 bags of rubbish have been collected during a night-time operation to clean up a nine mile stretch of the A45 in Wellingborough.
The clean up took place over four nights from Monday 4 March to Thursday 7 March. Six employees from Wellingborough Norse, the company that provides environmental services on behalf of Wellingborough Council, worked from 10pm through till 5am each night to clean the outside verges of the road from the Wilby Way roundabout through to Ecton.
Because of health and safety requirements, the high-speed road was litter-picked with a rolling road closure in place. The two-tonne haul of rubbish included carrier bags, drinks cans, bottles, crisp packets, chocolate wrappers, and food packaging.
The clean up was supported by the nearby McDonald’s at Wilby Way. The company has also bought a couple of extra bins to put in lay-bys where the litter is particularly bad.
Cllr Peter Morrall, chairman of the council’s community committee, said: “The amount of litter that gets thrown on to this stretch of the A45 is simply unacceptable. We know it’s a priority for residents to see it cleaned up as this is such a high-profile route into the town, and we’re really pleased with the results of this latest operation. However, it would be even better if the rubbish wasn’t there in the first place. We do a lot of work to educate people about the problems caused by litter, including our ‘no excuses’ campaign and regular roadshows around the borough. We also accept that not all the litter on the A45 is thrown away by local residents, so we also patrol
the area and visit lay-bys. Whether people live here or are simply passing through, we need them to stop this irresponsible and illegal littering and either take their rubbish home with them or use the bins in the lay-bys.”
McDonald’s franchisee Perry Akhtar said: “We are pleased to be able to provide support for the Wellingborough Norse litter event. We’ve been working with them and the council for the last three years to deliver various projects in the area and raise awareness of the issue of litter, encouraging people to take responsibility. As well as providing staff to support the A45 clean up, we also offered refreshments and toilet facilities and agreed to sponsor two bins along the roadside. Litter is a major environmental issue and by providing more bins we hope we are making it even easier for people to get rid of their rubbish responsibly.”
Wellingborough Norse budgets around £9,000 a year for cleaning up litter on the A45. A big clean up is done once a year, with further litter picks organised where possible to coincide with other highways works, such as white lining or grass cutting, in order to reduce traffic management costs.