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Tons of rubbish still being discarded along Suffolk’s major roads despite campaigns

PUBLISHED: 08:43 07 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:13 07 February 2017

Council litter pickers on the A14

Council litter pickers on the A14

Archant

High profile campaigns urging people to stop throwing litter out of car windows are not working it has been claimed.

A14 litter pile - one week's worth A14 litter pile - one week's worth

Despite major efforts to educate people about litter, it still takes the equivalent of two-and-a-half council staff five days a week just to keep on top of rubbish discarded along the verges of the A14 and A12.

Regardless of tougher penalties for fly tipping and littering, tons of rubbish is being discarded every month along the stretch between Bury St Edmunds and the Orwell Bridge on the A14, and from Copdock interchange to the Essex border on the A12.

Items found in recent months range from drinks bottles to two pianos which were abandoned in lay-bys on two separate occasions.

The rubbish is currently retrieved by council staff as part of a joint project between Babergh, Mid Suffolk and Ipswich Borough councils. According to Babergh and Mid Suffolk’s corporate manager for public realm, Peter Garrett, around £900,000 is spent on “street cleansing” every year throughout the two council areas alone.

Mr Garrett said: “Two point five full time equivalent staff spend every day of the week solely picking up litter on the A14 and A12 from Thurston to the Orwell Bridge, which is unbelievable given the amount of publicity this has received in recent months.

“Although there have been numerous campaigns, it is clear that the message is still not getting through that it is far from okay to wind down your car window and throw things out of it.

“It’s still a huge problem – the street cleansing bill in Babergh alone is around £450,000 per year with a similar figure for Mid Suffolk.”

He was speaking at a town council meeting in Sudbury where Babergh is looking to appoint a county funded community horticultural officer to co-ordinate efforts by volunteers to supplement the council’s clean up work in the town. Some councillors expressed concerns that the council should not be relying on volunteers. But Mr Garrett said : “We are never going to be in a position where we are abandoning our environmental responsibility but financial constraints mean that we need volunteers to supplement what we can offer.”

The post will be funded via the organisation ActivLives, which was established in Ipswich in 2006.

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