Litter remains a problem in St Albans, despite 88-year-old buggy-riding litter volunteer

88-year-old Jack Hill who collects litter from his motorised scooter with less than a weeks worth of

88-year-old Jack Hill who collects litter from his motorised scooter with less than a weeks worth of litter collections - Credit: Archant

Litter louts continue to bug St Albans councillors and residents alike, who are united in efforts to stop the rubbish blight.

While the local authority ponders a range of possible measures to deter people from tossing waste along paths, roads and beauty spots, some people, like 88-year-old Jack Hill, are quietly working behind the scenes, clearing up after those too lazy to use bins.

The octogenarian, who lives in the Sopwell area, collects bags of litter while on his daily outings on his motorised scooter - a necessity because of his “slightly gammy knee”.

Jack said: “I did a bit around the Alban Way, where I had a bag with a 70-litre capacity, and it was filled easily.”

While many would criticise those creating such unsightly messes, Jack is fairly ho-hum about his litter-picking efforts, saying: “The reason I collect rubbish is that it gives me a reason for being outdoors. I used to have an allotment, for the same reason, but I gave it up.

“So my buggy is an ideal method of getting out and about, and litter is the only thing that needs picking up - litter infuriates people.

“I’ve been doing this for three years, and you get the odd cyclist saying ‘good on you mate!’”

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Jack thinks there should be more rubbish bins supplied throughout the district, particularly as most of the waste he collects “has a food link”, and that people need to be educated about defacing St Albans from a young age.

In the meantime, he added: “I will carry on doing my bit.”

Jack’s efforts were praised at a full district council meeting on October 14 by Cllr Eileen Harris, who asked for more recycling bins to be provided for residents.

Cllr Chris White said a recent litter pick by residents along Alban Way had resulted in finding “lots of plastic bottles, a duvet and a crowbar”.

The council said it was disappointed by continuing problems with unsightly litter, fly-tipping, graffiti and chewing gum disposal as well as dog excrement fouling the district’s streets and parks.

Councillors were united in criticising those who litter as they discussed a variety of ways of deterring offenders.

They admitted that current enforcement and prevention methods are becoming less effective in tackling the problem.

As a result, the authority has instructed its scrutiny committee to examine the costs of implementing an enforcement scheme, using fixed penalty notices to try to reduce levels of litter, graffiti and dog excrement.