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The jaws of Tower Hamlets Council snap for the Big Clean Up in war on fly-tipping and rubbish

PUBLISHED: 17:24 01 June 2018

Everything is getting 'the Big Clean' treatment... even the drains! Picture source: LBTH

Everything is getting 'the Big Clean' treatment... even the drains! Picture source: LBTH

LBTH

Just when you thought it was safe to go out on to the streets again, the jaws of Tower Hamlets Council are snapping for another big clean-up.

Volunteers who joined the Big Clean Up in Cotton Street, Poplar, in October. Picture: Kios MiahVolunteers who joined the Big Clean Up in Cotton Street, Poplar, in October. Picture: Kios Miah

This time the local authority is recruiting volunteers to help to spruce up the East End after the last mammoth operation in October.

It includes parks and housing estates as well as streets and runs all week from Monday to Friday in the council’s fourth borough-wide ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ campaign in three years.

“We’re cracking down on fly-tipping and litter offences,” Cllr David Edgar, Cabinet Member for the environment, said this week. “These Big Clean-Up events are for everyone to play a small part in making a difference and keeping our streets clean.”

War is being declared on flytipping as well as street litter, having had up to 5,000 smelly old mattresses dumped last year, for example, on its housing estates.

Deputy Mayor Siraj Islam at Bay Court where mattresses were dumped. Picture: Justin ThomasDeputy Mayor Siraj Islam at Bay Court where mattresses were dumped. Picture: Justin Thomas

It was enough to dwarf The Shard if piled one on top of another, reaching 27,000 feet high—three times the height of the towering skyscraper, the council worked out. Workers had to remove an average 422 old mattresses every month.

A ‘rapid response’ squad was first set up in 2011 to deal with fly-tipping and other eyesores around the East End, which got 450 calls from the public in its first six months, dealing with fly-tipping, graffiti and fly-posting.

Mayor John Biggs said today: “Most people respect out streets, but the few who litter affect everyone and their rubbish can quickly blight a neighbourhood.”

Volunteers collected 7,000 tonnes of litter and debris in 2016, council figures show. They’re hoping to do even better this time.

Making sure the drains can take the strains of the Big Clean Up by Tower Hamlets Council. Picture source: LBTHMaking sure the drains can take the strains of the Big Clean Up by Tower Hamlets Council. Picture source: LBTH

The council wants a “sense of pride” in keeping the East End spic and span—but the mayor promises to use enforcement to get it done, as well as education and projects like next week’s Big Clean Up.

Council members rolled their sleeves up in October to help clear rubbish and graffiti in Poplar on a patch of ground in Cotton Street, off the main East India Dock Road. They collected 17 sacks of rubbish in an hour, showing how much litter people drop.

Clean-up events if anyone wants to join are starting on Monday back at Cotton Street at 10am, then at Philpott Street in Whitechapel at 2pm, and Victoria Park by the Grove Road and Old Ford Road roundabout at 7.15pm.

Three events on Tuesday start along the Regent’s Canal from Mile End Lock to Limehouse at 10am, then Clare Street in Bethnal Green at 2pm, and Swedenborg Gardens off The Highway, Shadwell, at 6.15pm.

Wednesday’s one event starts in the streets around Bethnal Green Gardens at 2.30pm.

Thursday’s events start in Westferry Road outside the Docklands Sailing Centre in Millwall at 10am, and at St Leonard’s Priory in Bromley High Street in Bromley-by-Bow at 2pm.

Friday’s events are at Copperfield Road by Mile End Park at 10.30am and the Hollybush Estate in Bethnal Green at 2.30pm.

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