News release from 08/05/2018

Extra support to keep communities cleaner and litter-free

Parts of South Cambridgeshire are set to be cleaner, and see reduced litter, thanks to new trial designed by the District Council and local communities.

Equipment such as a ride-in street sweeper is being made available for use by volunteers in parishes. Extra support is also being offered for coordinated litter picks. This follows requests from parishes and community groups. Many already organise their own extra schemes to keep their areas clean and green, but without the benefit of being able to use larger, more costly equipment that the authority owns and can provide.

All of this is in addition to the currently scheduled and reactive clean-up work by the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service, a partnership between South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City Councils.

Around 20 villages from across South Cambridgeshire said they were interested in receiving more help with additional street cleansing. Of those 20 areas, trials are being worked up in seven locations.

The first part of South Cambridgeshire to benefit is Melbourn and the surrounding area. Here, volunteers have already been trained to operate the ride-in sweeper. This is being made available to borrow for use on tarmacked paths, including cycle-ways, such as the A10 cycle path. Wyevale Garden Centre in Shepreth has offered to provide secure storage for the sweeper while it is being used by volunteers, further highlighting the collaborative nature of this project.

A leaf and litter vacuum will also be made available, which can be used in car parks, around shops and on playing fields. Both pieces of equipment will be able to be booked out by communities taking part in the trial and used by volunteers who have gone through training and checks which are organised by the Council.

The second new project being developed will see the authority supplying tools like litter-pickers, gloves and bags to communities who want to run their own ‘big clean’ events and environmental action days. Staff from the Shared Waste Service will be paired with volunteers to encourage communities to separate out items that can be recycled, and give out food caddies and recycling advice. The Council will collect and dispose of waste collected by volunteers.

Melbourn Councillor Jose Hales said: “This project wouldn't be possible without the very significant time and commitment of local people from the Melbourn and the surrounding area, including local County Councillor Susan van de Ven, who are keen to contribute to the upkeep of local paths and roads.  We're also very grateful to local businesses like Wyevale who step up so readily to help out on community projects. The cycle path that we’ve completed a test run along has transformed walking and cycling habits in Melbourn and Shepreth so I know people will be delighted with this extra help to keep it in good condition."

Fellow Melbourn Councillor Philippa Hart added: “I am delighted to take this initiative forward in the Melbourn Ward. The safety and good condition of our roads and pavements is a big preoccupation for Jose and me and the sweeper and our volunteer drivers will help enormously.”