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Big Boston Clean-up 2015 round-up

Boston's getting cleaner - and that's official. And it's not just because the annual four-day Big Boston Clean-up has just come to an end.

This year the volunteers numbered as many as they have in previous years, but the amount of rubbish to be collected had reduced.

Jen Moore, Boston Borough Council's partnerships and sustainability officer and organiser of the Big Boston Clean-up, said: "Last year we collected around six tonnes of rubbish from the streets, gutters, verges, grassed areas and riverbanks. But this year, with just as many volunteers, and better weather, it is down to four-and-a-half tonnes. I think the message is getting out and Boston really is becoming cleaner and tidier."

On all four days volunteers joined council staff and staff from partner agencies and businesses in the town and members of the public to work in teams cleaning their way through zoned areas armed with high-visibility vests, gloves, mechanical litter pickers and black refuse sacks.

Tulip group Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
From left: Baz Warsop from Boston Mayflower with Tulip team: Leigh Hanson, Donatas Petravicius, Darren Ridley, Les Dean, Diana Trezuna, Rachel Loveridge and Dean South

This is the eighth year that the clean-up has been held and is in addition to the daily efforts of the council's street-cleaning team and all-year round volunteer litter pickers.

On the final day a team from Boston firm Duncan and Toplis and Calders and Grandidge tackled areas close to Central Park, remarking on how clean the park already was when they arrived.

Alison Smith, of Duncan and Toplis was litter picking in Tawney Street when she was interviewed live on BBC Radio Lincolnshire by mid-morning show presenter Melvyn Prior. She praised park staff for its clean appearance and told Melvyn that her firm had been involved with the clean-up since it started and it was supported by staff because they worked and lived in the area, taking  a pride in the community and the town.

Sean McGarry, of Calders and Grandidge, said staff were encouraged to get involved. "We feel everyone should get involved in getting the town looking good and working well."

He agreed that if an area was kept clean and tidy it was less likely to attract more rubbish. He had also been on the big clean-up on Tuesday in a group of five who picked up 20 bin liners full of rubbish in the first two hours.

Sean's haul included three toothbrushes picked up from the street. But that didn't beat the discovery by another group of a toilet, complete with seat and u-bend, dumped in Lawrence Lane in the car park behind West End Furnishings and Bed Centre. Council staff are to remove it.

Among other large items found were a sofa, fridge and television.

Fiona McKenna, from Lincolnshire Rivers Trust, said how sad it had been to see swans nesting on eggs along the banks of the Witham surrounded by a tidemark of flotsam and jetsam.

Her team had picked up 28 bin liners full of rubbish along the riverbank - lots of it drink-related rubbish including beer cans and spirit bottles.

This year a total of 238 volunteers turned out to help with the clean-up - from tiny tots to grandparents.

Oliver 2 Arron 5 Jack 7 Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Junior litter-pick team, Oliver (2), Aaron (5) and Jack (7)

Lincolnshire Co-op helped encourage participation by children on their Easter holiday with offers of fruit bags, mini chocolate eggs and snack-size raisins.

Other groups involved were Asda, Calders and Grandidge, Freshtime, Duncan and Toplis, Boston Mayflower, Fenside Community Centre, Beacon Church at Wyberton, Tulip, McDonald's, Aaron Services, Boston and District Angling Association, Lincolnshire County Council, Black Sluice Internal Drainage Board, Willoughby Road Allotments Association, Salvation Army, Boston College, New Life Fellowship, Inspire Lincs, Boston in Bloom, North Sea Camp, Boston Chamber of Commerce, Lincolnshire Rivers Trust, Black Cat Design and Holy Trinity Church.

The Big Schools Clean-up also took place again this year. Almost 500 children from Boston West, Park Academy, Swineshead Primary, St Nicholas Primary, Hawthorn Tree, Fishtoft, Carlton Road Academy, Wrangle Primary, Pioneers Free School, St Mary's RC Primary and Wyberton Primary schools cleared litter from in and around their school grounds.

Jen said: "These are such worthwhile projects. The Boston example is now being copied in other areas of the county.
"In particular the schools' project  reinforces the work the schools already do with the children around caring for the environment. I am certain it changes their attitude to littering and it never fails to impress me how enthusiastic the children are and how much fun they have."

Over the past eight years more than 5,700 volunteers have got involved, lifting 75.5 tonnes of rubbish from the streets and waterways of the town.

Salvation Army cake ladies Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Judy Fear and Sheila Scoot from The Salvation Army who kindly made and served the lunch and refreshments for clean-up volunteers