Potters Bar litter pickers upset with council inflexibility

garbage bags

Members have been picking up around 40 bag of garbage and piling it up beside the M25 motorway, on the roundabout, awaiting pick-up from the council but for weeks now have yet to see it being collected. - Credit: Pixabay

Clean-up volunteers frustrated with Hertsmere Borough Council took matters into their own hands to clean up their environment. 

Volunteers from the Potters Bar Green Warriors have been cleaning up their local area for years, picking up around 40 bags of garbage at a time,

They have been piling it up on the roundabout beside the M25 motorway, awaiting pick-up from the council -  but it has remained uncollected for weeks.  

Potters Bar roundabout

The council refuses to pick up the rubbish if same regulation garbage bag as the council is not used and the pick-up spot is not approved by them. - Credit: Simon Winterflood

One member of the clean-up crew said he has asked the council for on numerous occasions but has constantly received the same disappointing response.  

Simon Winterflood wants Hertsmere to meet them in the middle: “It is depressing to see the amount of litter we see on motorways. I am doing my bit to collect all the rubbish. They are insisting I move it to Potters Bar station but I can’t take down 40 bags of rubbish with me.

“I appreciate the budgets of councils these days but they should be responsible for this, so we’re doing their job for them, the least they could do is come and pick up some bags of rubbish."

Simon says the council refuses to pick up the rubbish as he does not use the same regulation garbage bag as the council and they have not approved the pick-up spot.  

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Potters Bar Green Warriors leader, Jeremy Silverstone criticised the council's inflexibility:  “At the moment, they’ll give us equipment and provided we adhere to their rules, they are happy for us to do some of their work for them. There are dozens of volunteers who want to help and I would like to see the council make it easier for those people to help.

“I was doing it as a private citizen just because I felt it needed to be done. I told them, 'If you had done it, I wouldn’t need to'.” 

A spokesperson for Hertsmere Borough Council said: “We appreciate all efforts made by volunteer groups and facilitate them where ever possible by loaning equipment, providing sacks for containment and asking volunteers to complete a risk assessment to ensure litter pickers are aware of hazards and work only in areas where risks are reduced. 

“We also agree locations where it is safe for our crews to collect bagged litter following the completion of community litter picks. We have advised this particular organiser on two previous occasions that the roundabout is not suitable for residents to litter pick nor is it safe point of collection for our crews. We are happy to work with the organiser to agree a safe area to litter pick and more appropriate collection point in the future.”