Proactive Ross residents have mobilised to help tackle litter problems in the town.

A number of bins around the town were found to be overflowing and town litter pickers shared tips on what can be done by everyday residents to improve the cleanliness of the town.

Womble litter picker Sandra Brown told the Gazette: “I use FixMyStreet a lot to report everything, from blocked drains to flytipping, and of course full street bins. I’m a Womble litter picker so it just seems part of the job to report issues I can’t fix myself.” She added that she prefers FixMyStreet to the council’s website reporting system. FixMyStreet is an independent website, built by the charity mySociety.

Their aim is to make it easier to report problems in the community, even if it’s not clear who those reports should go to.

She also recomends the LitterLotto, a scheme where you can win money for just binning your rubbish. She’s been using it since January and has been dropping off posters to shops and businesses around town to promote it and help reduce litter.

Sandra is part of the Ross Community Litter Clean Up Crew, but due to family commitments, rarely makes it to the Sunday morning group picks.

I rarely use a litter picker and I don’t wear a hi-vis because I want to try and normalise litter picking, Womble style

Sandra Brown

Inspired by Facebook group Paws on Plastics, Sandra started just picking up litter and dropping it into the next street bin. Where possible she also brings litter home to promote recycling.

She said: “I rarely use a litter picker and I don’t wear a hi-vis because I want to try and normalise litter picking, Womble style, so that anyone can do it if they see a piece of litter, rather than just walk by. I’ve even had a stranger tell me that they had litter picked because they had seen me do it. I am lucky enough to live and work in Ross, so I walk our dog and walk to and from work, so I have plenty of opportunity to litter pick.”

Sandra discovered Litterlotto from social media. She said it sounded too good to be true, tried it out because, if it worked, it would be a great tool to help reduce littering, “I won my first £5 within a week and have been playing ever since, saving my winning images to help motivate people to bin their own rubbish as I want to become a redundant litter picker. I am very lucky that I don’t need the money I win on LitterLotto, so I use my winnings to buy items for Ross Community Larder.”

A current concern for litter pickers are plastic glove bags, which are littered in and around Morrisons. Whilst it has been reported it to Morrisons Wombles have been trying to raise awareness to try and get people to bin them and stop them getting into the nearby brook. Following last Thursday’s burst of community activism, Sandra is pleased to say all the bins she saw in town the next day were emptied.