The Value of Litter Networks – The Authority Perspective

by Ian Brackenbury – Operations and Commercial Services Manager, Warrington Borough Council | May 2021

“Covid-19 has resulted in many personal challenges for both individual residents and the wider community  groups, however one small silver lining in a very dark cloud, has been the engagement of local residents with their immediate outdoor space.

“Footfall in parks and open spaces has increased dramatically, as have residents’ want and desire to exercise within their immediate areas. As people have started to use their local facilities, awareness of the problem and extent of litter in these areas has increased.  Linked to the increased footfall and awareness has been the creation and development of the “Litter Network”. From its foundations in Lymm there are now over 15 Litter Networks across Warrington with 1200 Facebook followers, with aspirations to soon cover the whole of the town.

“Litter Networks are a fantastic partner to the Council in helping to manage and reduce waste within the Environment. I cannot speak highly enough of them. The already large numbers of volunteers working either individually or in Covid-safe groups, provide a fantastic level of service to the wider community, collecting unprecedented volumes of waste on an ongoing basis, across the whole of the borough.  Without the support of these kind volunteers much of this waste would have had to remain in situ.

“As funding for local authorities is reduced, spending on litter picking has fallen and the strong partnership between the council and Litter Networks can only add value to the wider community. I am keen to further develop strong working relationships with Litter Networks and to work closely together to deliver behavioural change, reductions in the levels of litter within our town and an increased awareness across the community around the impact of litter. The problem of litter within Warrington is not just an issue for the Council, but for the wider community.

“On behalf of the Council I would like to congratulate and thank all the volunteers for their incredible help and support.  I look forward to a long and strong partnership where we work together to remove the scourge of litter within the town.”