Age no barrier for 90 year old St Albans litter picker as he joins in Great British Spring Clean 2017
- Credit: Archant
A 90-year old “local hero and treasure” who voluntarily litter picks in all weathers – every day – has been praised by the community.
Jack Hill, who lives in the Sopwell area of St Albans, devotes his life to tidying up the streets in fog, rain and snow, despite being disabled.
Jack’s legendary community efforts were shared with the Herts Advertiser, after the Sopwell Residents Association Litter Pick, which is part of wider clean-up project, Great British Spring Clean 2017.
Jennifer Taylor, committee chair, said: “Jack is a credit to St Albans and an example to us all. He’s often seen out and about collecting litter from his mobility scooter, complete with wheelie bin strapped to the front. He goes about it quietly, seeing it as his duty to the community.”
Long time committee member Sandy Norman agreed: “Jack is a local treasure. He is always picking up litter not just around Sopwell but further afield. He is a very keen recycler and separates the rubbish at home.
“He used to collect on foot but now turned 90, he has to use his mobility scooter. His disabilities have never stopped him. He is a credit to us all. If he stopped the council would have far more to pick up.”
A group of 12 neighbours gathered together last Sunday to collect 25 bags of rubbish, an old mattress and several bike parts from roads around Abbots Avenue West.
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Jo Cooney, committee secretary, said: “We really appreciate the interest shown by the community. Their efforts have made a real difference in Sopwell. Of course it doesn’t have to be an annual event. Recognition should be given to our local hero Jack Hill, who goes out litter picking almost every day.”
Neighbour and vice chair Barry Bateman described Jack as “Sopwell’s own eco warrior”, adding: “I am in admiration of Jack’s constant efforts to keep our local area free of litter… Sun, rain, hail or storm, you will find Jack every morning or afternoon collecting rubbish.
“He is a true hero and deserves acknowledgment for what he does selflessly day in, day out. A real inspiration to us all!”
The Sopwell Residents Association holds public meetings twice a year, enjoys social events and partakes in annual bulb planting alongside regular rubbish clearance. They also publish a newsletter every six months.
Jack told this newspaper: “Litter infuriates me and has become a personal thing especially against smokers, who seem to choose packets with many separate elements, plus every stub end in the packet.
“I have spare time on my hands and can’t do gardening but wish to be outdoors as much as possible.
“The scattering of rubbish will become a very serious problem unless members of society are somehow indoctrinated to recognize the error of their ways, so greater efforts must be applied towards achieving this. Hence my appearance on the streets and lanes may have some influence on the public conscience.”
He added that it would help if the local authorities provided more bins – and bins without plastic bin liners, which increase landfill – and emptied them more frequently.