Chair of WEN, David Highton, reports on the growing problem of street rubbish in West Ealing.
There’s no doubt that our streets are much cleaner than they were, say, 5 years ago. The last Conservative council put cleaner streets as one of its top priorities and the new Labour Council has done the same. I think almost everyone recognises the considerable improvements that have been made. Yet, one problem still remains which I see almost every day and find very annoying – fast food debris littering our streets. The above photo is one of three lots of fast food rubbish I saw this morning within 50 metres of my front door. Maybe I’m imagining it but it has got worse over the last couple of years. This makes me sound like a grumpy old man and in this case I think I am!
I live within 150 metres of the Uxbridge Road and West Ealing’s main shopping centre and it seems that there’s the fast food equivalent of a high tide mark whereby fast food rubbish and drink cans left on walls are a regular feature of streets within fast food eating distance of the local fast food shops. Get 200 metres or so away from the high street and the problem fades away.
One aspect of this problem seems fairly new. I keep noticing fast food rubbish left in street gutters rather than on the pavement. I’ve been wondering why this is? My personal theory is that it’s left by people who eat it in their cars and then just leave the rubbish behind in the gutter. Mind you, I’ve never seen anyone do this so I could be completely wrong.
Whatever the reason, it’s a problem. The streets are swept regularly so this rubbish is soon cleaned away ( and the three lots I saw this morning have already been swept up) but that makes no difference to the fact that fast food rubbish litters our streets. What can we do about it? Anyone any ideas?
PS One thing I’ve done, some years ago, is become a volunteer Streetwatcher who, for want of a better term, act as the ‘eyes’ for the Council with flytipping and graffiti etc. We can help clean up the rubbish but not prevent it in the first place.