With the weather improving and coronavirus lockdown restrictions lifting, more people have been making the most of Bridgend County Borough’s outdoor spaces.
And after seeing a rise in the amount of litter, Bridgend County Borough Council has provided further resources to ensure our beauty spots stay tidy.
By the end of February this year, an extra 96 tonnes of litter had been collected compared to last year. This is partly linked to the efforts of volunteers who are working hard to keep their communities tidy but large amounts of litter are also being left on grass verges, roadsides and back lanes.
Porthcawl in particular has seen unprecedented visitor numbers and the local authority has deployed extra teams to cover sunny periods and bank holidays. Volunteer crews are operating in the Coney Beach, Rest Bay and town areas and the Cleaner Streets team is working with Porthcawl Town Council to set up litter hubs.
Enforcement teams have restarted patrols and can issue a £100 fixed penalty notice to anyone who deliberately drops litter or doesn’t pick up after their dog in streets, parks or public spaces.
The council has also purchased a new van with a community engagement team in place to support litter-picking through the Love It, Don’t Trash It! campaign, as well as general cleansing duties.
From the end of April, the team will start working closely with communities to identify local issues, support volunteers, monitor project work, and be a link with community and town councils, and other groups.
Hundreds of volunteers across the county borough help to keep their communities tidy and support is in place for those who want to collect litter.
Litter hubs, which store equipment for individuals and local groups to use, will be reopening to volunteers in May.
Through the hubs, the council’s Cleaner Streets team and Keep Wales Tidy can provide bags and hi-vis vests to volunteers who adhere to coronavirus regulations and have the appropriate insurances in place. Cover can easily be organised via Keep Wales Tidy at no cost to residents.
By registering, volunteers also have access to a Keep Wales Tidy app which collects data about how many litter picks are being carried out, helps identify hotspots for littering and records the amount of material collected. It also ensures bags of waste from litter picks are quickly collected by the council so waste is not left uncollected and at risk of becoming a hazard.
Hubs are in place at Caerau Community Centre, Pencoed Community Council’s offices, Coney Beach Surf Café in Porthcawl and KPC Youth Centre in Pyle, with a new one set to open at the Beach Craft Centre, at Rest Bay, Porthcawl.
The council is also working with Keep Wales Tidy to set up further hubs in Brackla, Ogmore Valley, Bryncethin, Porthcawl and Maesteg over the next year.
For more information or to register your interest in litter picking in your community, email [email protected]