Plea to stop tossing drink cans onto Swanage’s road verges

Volunteers, who annually clear litter from road verges between Swanage and Wareham, are calling for people to stop chucking rubbish out of their car windows including a countless number of drink cans.

Swanage Landers is a voluntary group that has for the last six years removed rubbish from the roads and verges, as well as unblocking gullies, removing dangerous tree branches and addressing general road issues.

Swanage Landers rubbish collection
Swanage Landers

Huge quantity of rubbish fly tipped along the road from Swanage to Wareham

Clearance of 21 kilograms of rubbish over 17 days

Led by Swanage resident Frank Roberts, the team has just completed a comprehensive clearance of litter from the road verges.

Frank Roberts said:

“Many have seen our efforts to remove rubbish from roads in Purbeck over the last month. In total, 34 miles of verge-side walked, assessed, and items removed. Not bad eh?

“The A351 leaving Swanage, was litter picked first on Tuesday 8th March 2022, but within days there was rubbish all over the place.

“I decided that two weeks later, at the end of a month of very intense weeks, the stretch from Coombe Corner in Swanage to St Michael’s Garage at Harmans Cross, would be done again.

“Thank you to Hannah Casey, Pete Duncalfe and Lara Manningham-Buller for their help.”

Swanage Landers rubbish collection
Swanage Landers
Swanage Landers team led by Frank Roberts
Frank E Roberts

Left to right: Frank Roberts, Hannah Casey and Pete Duncalfe after a month of early morning spring clean litter picks

Carlsberg cans

This year they collected 21 kilograms of rubbish over 17 days and among the discarded items was plasterboard, tyres, full dog poo bags, learner plates and signs.

However Frank added that the main items discarded were:

“Cans. Fast food packaging. Items flying out of small open trucks. Cans, cans and cans!

“Four days after I cleared the verge on the A351 – the main road out of Swanage towards Harmans Cross – I picked up another 15 cans and 11 were Carlsberg, along with the cardboard packaging.

“Someone is regularly throwing them out of a vehicle and they may have more of a problem than they may wish to admit to, but basically fly tipping the cans along the road is not an answer to anything.”

Swanage Landers rubbish collection

Carlsberg cans are regularly chucked out onto the verge, just outside Swanage

Monster cans  found on the verge
David Hollister

Monster cans hung up like a Christmas garland in 2018

Not a new problem

This is not a new problem and a few years ago, the team were regularly finding Monster energy drink cans discarded on a daily basis.

This stopped when one year, Frank made a Christmas garland of the cans and strung them along the bushes. It’s believed that the individual responsible, finally got the message.

Over the six years, Frank estimates that he and his team have cleared the road verges from Swanage to Wareham about 20 times.

At first they removed a lot of historical rubbish, but now they are clearing litter that has recently been discarded.

Swanage Landers rubbish collection
Swanage Landers

Magnetic learner plates regularly fly off cars at higher speeds and end up littering the roads

Swanage Landers rubbish collection of tyres
Swanage Landers

Fly tipping is a problem

“I must be mad but I’m passionate about my community”

Frank added:

“As a reminder, my small team are all volunteers who give their time, and contribute towards keeping our spaces tidy, not least in fuel. My van alone has done well over 100 miles supporting hedge trimming, clearing Knitson Dip of mud and litter picking.

“I must be mad but I’m passionate about my community. I believe it’s important to keep the eastern gateway to Swanage in good order. However if you see someone littering, ask them to stop being a tosser or words to that effect!”

Swanage Landers rubbish collection
Swanage Landers

Swanage Landers litter picks

The Swanage Landers team meets fortnightly for litter picking on Thursday afternoons and on occasional Saturday mornings and welcomes new volunteers.

The group meets at the entrance to the Main Beach car park, Victoria Avenue in Swanage BH19 1PW.

The next dates are Saturday 23rd April 2022 from 9.30 am to 11.30 am and Thursday 7th and 21st April 2022 from 2 pm.

To get involved, contact Frank Roberts via email

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