Litter in Redbridge parks quadruples in one year, council reveals

Valentines Park in Ilford

More than 200 bags of litter were collected in Valentines Park on one day in June - Credit: Ken Mears

The amount of rubbish left in Redbridge parks has quadrupled in the space of a year.

In 2020, 98,000 bags of litter were collected in the borough's parks, according to Redbridge Council.

This figure was almost four times higher than in 2019.

The authority also said that 227 bags were picked up in just one day at Ilford's Valentines Park in June this year.

A council spokesperson described the level of rubbish in parks as "unprecedented".


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Claire Oliverio, head ranger at Hainault Forest, said: “Unfortunately, over the last year or so, we’ve seen a huge rise in litter.

“We’re finding PPE discarded in vegetation, plastic food packaging and cups from family picnics spread across grasslands and the remnants of illicit barbecues in our precious woodlands.

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“Not only is this unsightly, but it also poses a hazard for both people and wildlife, as well as increased problems with pest control."

She said teams are working to manage the rise in littering and called out to the general public for their help in reducing it.

“If you love our parks as much as we do, please help us keep them clean and tidy by taking your litter home with you.”

The council said it is set to start a trial later this year, which will see new types of bins added to selected parks.

The aim is helping it "understand public behaviour towards littering, as well as help reduce litter and encourage people to take litter home".

Council leader Jas Athwal said: “It’s no surprise this last year our parks have been a refuge for physical and mental wellbeing for so many, but as footfall in our parks increased, sadly so has the amount of litter.

“Keeping our parks clean and tidy is a real team effort involving all of us, so please do your bit and show your love for our parks by taking your litter home with you.”

The calls come as environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy is running its Love Parks Week until August 1.

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