LITTER: Rubbish on The Downs a ‘huge problem’
The council is struggling to keep up with the amount of litter on The Downs, despite putting out extra rubbish bins and emptying them seven days a week.
Ben Skuse, from Bristol City Council’s parks team, said the volume of rubbish was a “huge problem” and was the result of an “unprecedented” number of visitors in the past year.
Hoards of people have flocked to The Downs during the pandemic to get fresh air and exercise, but they have churned up the grass and left tonnes of rubbish behind.
Mr Skuse told members of the Downs Committee on Monday (March 22) that the parks team had put out “many, many” extra bins to cope with the extra litter.
Emptying them was the first job of the day but they were often full by lunchtime, he said.
“It’s become our biggest job whereas before it was really only our biggest job on a few key times of the year,” he said, referring to bank holidays and school holidays.
“We have staff there seven days a week emptying bins.
“We’ve got many, many more temporary bins out around the place to try and deal with the load.
“But despite those bins being emptied in the morning, on a really, really busy day those bins could potentially be full by lunchtime.
“And of course it’s not until the next morning that we are there again to clear up.
“It’s a huge problem.”
Committee member Steve Smith said some residents had complained to him that the council did not empty the bins on The Downs, but he knew that was not the case.
“It’s just there’s so many people, they fill up ridiculously quickly,” he said.
The Downs Committee, which manages the public common, is made up of city councillors and members of the Society of Merchant Venturers.
Words: Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporter
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