NOT many town mayors would put their hand up to empty dog poo bins and clean the streets…

But Ross-on-Wye’s civic leader was only too happy to take off his chain of office and brave the stink.

Cllr Daniel Lister joined the town council’s amenities team at 7am to help empty more than 60 bins, many of them poop bins containing dog muck!

The have-a-go mayor admitted: “I dare not mention the smell… it was so bad I was rather purple at one point!

“I joined the amenities team on the bin and street cleaning run starting at 7am where we emptied 60-plus Ross-on-Wye Town Council-owned bins, many being solely dog mess.

But despite the stink, he said they “were all full and being used”, which was “encouraging”, despite finding dog muck on the ground at a play park which was “annoying”.

“Emptying the dog mess bins was a challenge and certainly interesting - please make sure you tie those bags up,” he added.

“I’ve been to areas, footpaths and bins I never knew existed. I really didn’t understand the area covered, what we managed and the workload that our small team of two covered, along with the challenges they face on a daily basis.

“And I’ve only seen a small part of it… I definitely have the utmost respect for our staff and appreciate the work they do which by any means is not easy. To say they also go the extra mile is an understatement.”

The first job was to empty bins on posts along Smallbrook Road and Penyard Lane while en-route to the Market House where they had a clean up, litter pick and emptied bins.

“We then hit up the Rope Walk, Caroline Symonds garden, riverside, Greytree and beyond where we found a large fly tip, down and around Edmo.

Then it was onto the Vimto plant, up to Tudorville and down Archenfield Road,” added Cllr Lister.

“The list goes on and on,” he said. “We found some interesting items that I won’t name but you certainly wouldn’t expect to find them!

“Some bins had trees that had fallen on them, so we had to repair and pick up the litter, and footpaths had litter blown all over them that we had to collect.

“We also found cars that had been dumped and we needed to report and ensure were safe.”

The street team then returned to their base to empty the truck and fill the main bins before 11am to be taken away.

“There where some tight deadlines to stick to and if not there wouldn’t be enough space for the rest of the waste,” added the mayor.

“As well as the bins we checked, we litter-picked many streets, car parks and the skate park looking for damage.

“Many residents also liked to stop us just for a chat or to report something, and you could clearly see that the conversation really meant something to them and was making a difference to their day.

“Each play park was also visited and litter picked whist the play equipment was checked for safety too, and any basic repairs made.

He added: “In all in was a really interesting and rewarding day to see the town from a different view point and what the staff have to do and the challenges they face.

“It’s easy to give the tasks and ask why they aren’t done, but not so to fully understand what has been faced.

“It took seven hours, not including lunch. for two to complete the day which was just bins and street cleaning, and we could have carried on going.”

And he urged townspeople: “Next time you use a bin, if it’s full take your litter to the next bin or home and report the bin that’s full.

“And if you see someone drop litter, ask them to pick it up or do so yourself, although I know you shouldn’t need to.

“The staff team really were super stars when I was covered in bin juice, and other items that can’t be named and soaked wet through. I knew it was just one day, but they are hit with that every day.

“So if you see the team out and about smile and say thank, they will really appreciate it!”