Community clean-up targets city litter hotspots

Community groups, volunteers and staff pitched in to tidy up their local patches.

School pupils, community groups and local councillors donned gloves and brooms today (Friday 29 November) in a mass bid to make Edinburgh a litter free city.

Hundreds of people volunteered to tidy up their communities at coordinated clean-ups as part of the City of Edinburgh Council's Clean Up Edinburgh campaign. The "day of action" saw areas affected by litter and graffiti transformed by the volunteers, who were joined by the Council staff from environmental services and all departments across the organisation.

At the Green Flag status Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park, pupils from Liberton High School, young people from the Environmental Volunteer Outdoor Leader's Group, countryside rangers and Council staff rolled up their sleeves to pick up rubbish.

Other sites included Wester Hailes, and consisted of pupils from Canal View Primary and Sighthill Primary and local shopping centre staff; Davidson's Park; the Grassmarket; Jewel Park; the Innocent Railway path; outside Leith Library; Crewe Road Gardens; Seafield Recreation Ground.

Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: "It is really encouraging that so many people have given up their time to lend a hand to clean up the city. It's also great that so many young people have joined in.

"Edinburgh boasts 24 Green Flags for Parks, more than anywhere else in Scotland, and we need to maintain the high standards required for this status.

"While the Council certainly has a role in making sure that Edinburgh is clean, safe and presentable, residents and visitors also have a shared responsibility to ensure that rubbish is properly disposed of.

"Again, thanks so much to everyone who took time out and got stuck in."

The day of action kick-started the year long campaign which aims to change people’s behaviour towards littering and get schools, businesses, communities and individuals involved. Anyone can support the
campaign by signing the pledge to keep Edinburgh clean here and people can track the campaign and get involved using #cleanupedinburgh. The campaign is supported and part of the national Clean Up Scotland campaign, run by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Johnny Smith, Youth Development Worker with Environmental Volunteers Outdoor Learners (EVOLs), said: “It’s really important that young people take an active role in protecting natural species, especially places that are close to where they live.

"The Burdiehouse Burn in the south of Edinburgh encourages wildlife into the area and provides a safe corridor for numerous species to travel throughout a busy city. The young people in our EVOLS group are keen to take part in this project:"

EVOL Megan, 17, said: "We want to protect this area and keep it looking good for future generations", while Kieran, also 17, said: "We live here and want it to look good, also the rubbish which gathers in the burn can affect wildlife. If I can do something to help, I will."

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