Leading the way in the war on litter in Blackpool as part of the Big Spring Clean

When volunteer litter pickers Ian Jackson and his wife Sue go out on their daily rounds they bring back two full bin bags of rubbish collected from the streets around their home.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 4:18 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 4:23 pm
Ian and Sue Jackson

Fast food debris, discarded coffee cups and empty booze bottles are regularly among the haul.

It's depressing proof that many people do not care about the place where they live and do not give a second thought to leaving a trail of litter in their wake.

But thankfully, plenty of residents still have pride in their neighbourhood and a growing number are taking matters into their own hands.

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Ian and Sue Jackson

More than 500 requests have been made for litter action packs from Blackpool Council with more than 5,000 visits to the Keep Blackpool Tidy website.

Ian, 58, and Sue, 62, are among them, and during April there will be even more chance for people to join the war on rubbish.

Keep Blackpool Tidy has organised a number of community litter picks ranging from on the Prom to parks as part of the Big Spring Clean, while there are also regular monthly events throughout the year.

Ian hopes even more people will volunteer to help clean up the town's streets and says the benefits are not just in helping improve the environment.

Ian out litter picking

He said: "Two years ago I had a heart attack and was on 20 tablets a day so I really needed to make some changes.

"My wife and I started going out walking to get some exercise and every time we saw there were plastic bags, tin cans and fast food rubbish everywhere.

"I asked the council if we could get some bins, but they cost £500 each and then there's the cost of emptying them etc.

"So the person at the council said why didn't we become litter pickers and we got sent a litter picking pack.

"We started doing our own road, and then people asked us to do other areas and now we cover a radius of two miles a day, bringing back two bin bags a day of rubbish.

"In two years of litter picking I've lost five stone, am now taking just one tablet a day and feel much healthier.

"So I would encourage people to get involved. Even if they only do their own street every couple of weeks it all helps."

Once Ian and Sue have collected the rubbish, it is picked up by the council.

Each volunteer's kit, supplied by the council, includes a litter picking stick, plastic bags and a hoop to hang them round, a high visibility jacket and a pair of gloves.

Anyone wanting to volunteer as a litter picker can register on the Keep Blackpool Tidy website.

Big Spring Clean

Keep Blackpool Tidy has organised a series of events which are open to residents.

People can also organise their own events, and as much as possible of the rubbish collected will be recycled.

Great British Spring Clean events - April 11 1pm, meet at @thegrange, Bathurst Avenue.

April 13, 9.30am, Highfield Park.

10am to 12 noon, RNLI Lifeboat Station on Blackpool Promenade; Ibbison Court in the afternoon.

Other litter picks coming up include:

April 1: 10am, Stanley Park, meet at the main gate.

April 1: 11am to 12 noon, Bispham Coastal Care litter pick (first Monday of every month), meet at Highlands Pub, Queens Promende.

April 2: 9.30am to 12 noon, Grange Park litter pick (first Tuesday of every month), meet at @thegrange, Bathurst Avenue.

May 4: 9.30am, Highfield Park litter pick (first Saturday of every month).

April 14: 10am, Sea Life Centre litter pick, meet at RNLI Lifeboat Station.