VOLUNTEERS who have been picking up rubbish for years have teamed up to restore pride in Winsford.

Residents across the town have been collecting litter as they go for a daily walk or exercise their dogs.

Steve Edwards, who lives near The Flashes, is striving to coordinate this valiant community effort and recruit more volunteers to make more impact.

Winsford Guardian:

Beer cans and rubbish are being discarded every day, say litter pickers

"I meet other litter pickers every day as I take my dog for a walk," said Steve, 48, who never leaves home without a bin bag. "Dumping rubbish is a massive problem across the whole of Winsford. If it wasn't for the litter pickers we would be knee deep in plastic bottles and cans."

Steve only launched The Winsford Litter Pickers a month ago and has already attracted around 60 volunteers.

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Volunteers capture pictures of litter discarded on footpaths and grass verges

"We want to get a tsunami of people on board and make a big difference," he said. "As an army we're strong. We need to be a collective. You get a real sense of satisfaction and pride when you look back at a place you have cleaned but the sad thing is that when you return the next time it full of rubbish again."

Volunteers provide their own protective gloves and bin bags and litter pick in their own neighbourhood, posting before and after pictures on the group's Facebook page.

Hotspots where discarded cans, paper, broken bottles and rubbish are often found include Weaver Parkways, Newbridge car park, land near The Flashes, Verdin Grange football field and Mill Lane.

Winsford Guardian:

Litter was found discarded on a football pitch at Verdin Exchange the day after a match was played. Some had been collected into bags but it was all left for someone else to pick up

"People are chucking stuff out of car windows or just leaving it and expect someone else to pick it up," said Steve. "I have no problem with people having a few beers in the countryside and enjoying themselves. But please take your rubbish home so everyone else can enjoy the area.

"This rubbish isn't being recycled. We have to put it into bin bags and use gloves to keep safe. We can't sort through the rubbish as Covid-19 could be all over the bottles and cans."

Children and animals, he fears, could be injured by broken glass and sharp objects discarded on the ground. Wrecked bikes were among rubbish volunteers dumped recently.

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Winsford Guardian:

A broken bike found dumped beside a litter bin

"We are trying to re-educate people," said Steve, who runs a commercial cleaning company and moved to Winsford 18 months ago. "The council hasn't got the time or the resources to pick up all the litter.

"We would like you to imagine living in a town where you only had a walk or a short drive to the great outdoors.

"A place that was free to park, free to go in and children and dogs could play, safe in the knowledge that they wouldn’t get hurt on broken glass or metal beer bottle lids. A green space where you could spend hours with your friends, without having to look at or smell someone else’s left litter.

Winsford Guardian:

Winsford residents are being urged to have pride in their town

"The litter pickers of Winsford are putting in a huge effort to try and make this happen here but we are still being let down by a small minority of local people.

"Please, when the party is over, take all your litter with you and put it in the nearest bin. It’s all we ask."

Any volunteers wishing to join can contact The Winsford Litter Project on Facebook.

Is litter a problem where you live?  Please send your comments to yourviews@guardiangrp.co.uk